Procedure aims to remove bunions forever

HOUSTON – Jeaneal Reese said a year ago she didn’t have any shoes that fit her feet.

“We decided that with the pain that I was experiencing, I couldn't stand on it for long at all but it was time…” Reese said.

She decided surgery was the best option to get rid of the bunion on her left foot, and she wanted to be sure it wouldn't come back. So, she took a recommendation from Dr. Thomas Pignetti, podiatrist at Advanced Foot Care in the Woodlands.

“I needed to choose a procedure that would give her the correction she needed, and lapiplasty really is the best procedure for most bunions and particularly severe bunions,” Pignetti said.

He said bunions happen when the bone shifts out of position. It will elevate and rotate, moving the big toe out of place. With the lapiplasty procedure, the bones are held together by metal plates. Which will keep it intact, Pignetti said, for good.

“It allows surgeons to accurately position the bones the way that we want to have them end up at the end of the procedure before we make any permanent corrections or bone cuts,” Pignetti said.

Unlike bone cuts where recovery lasted 6-8 weeks, patients may be able to put weight on their foot as soon as three days after this operation.

Reese said she's finally free from the pain.

“I'm walking well and it's night and day. It's a big difference. Happy I did it,” Reese said.

While bunions are mostly genetic, Pignetti warns her not to jump into stilettos anytime soon because high heels can make the condition worse.

Reese admits, the procedure was painful. Even though you can apply weight just days after surgery, Reese said she still needed pain relievers.

Insurance should cover this, since bunions are a medical (not cosmetic) issue.