New procedure could help banish bunions for good

By IVANHOE

PALM BEACH, Fla. - Up to 60 percent of adults over 65 suffer from bunions: a painful foot deformity. Now, a new procedure using state-of-the-art technology is fixing the problem and getting patients back on their feet faster. 

Carrie Lepofsky is a self-described shoe-a-holic. But severe bunions slowed her down. 

“The leather of the shoe doesn’t really cover the bunion, so you do the best to kind of smush it in there and then it hurts,” Lepofsky said.

Like most patients, she feared surgery because that meant being off her feet for two months.

“Traditional bunion surgery had a poor success rate,” said Adam Katz, DPM, FACFAS, Board Certified in Foot Surgery, American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

Katz says the deformity of the joint connecting the big toe to the foot can be genetic but made worse by certain shoes. He says previous surgeries shaved off the bump but didn’t stabilize the joint, allowing the metatarsal bone to drift out of alignment.

“There’s a high recurrence rate, a lot of patients were unhappy,” said Katz.

Now, Katz is using a new procedure called lapiplasty that addresses all three dimensions of the joint. 

“That’s what the lapiplasty does, we correct all three planes, we de-rotate it, we move it back over,” Katz explained.

Then titanium plate technology by Treace is used to permanently secure the joint, which allows rapid weight bearing. Lepofsky had her right foot done a few months ago. She’ll have her left foot done early next year. 

“This was the bunion here. In shock. It’s a miracle, that’s all I can say, it’s a miracle,” said Lepofsky.

Two weeks after the procedure, Lepofsky was walking in a boot. Six weeks later she was showing off her new shoes! 

“I walk around with my sandals and I’m not self-conscious,” Lepofsky said.

She's happy she finally took the step to correct her painful problem. 

The procedure is covered by most insurance companies because bunions are considered a medical condition. For more information about the lapiplasty procedure please visit their website.

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