Bunion deformities are among the most common foot problems treated by foot and ankle specialists. This condition occurs when the great toe shifts position over time due to both genetic and environmental factors. The resulting bump on the side of the foot can easily become impinged by shoes, causing pain and disability. Over time—and without proper treatment—the condition will continue to progress and may even lead to nerve damage, arthritis, and other deformities.
Because of this, a bunion can seriously impact your quality of life in the following ways:
- Pain may limit you from participating in activities, such as exercise or sports.
- Pain may reduce your overall mobility and the amount of time you can spend on your feet.
- Previously comfortable shoes may become too painful to wear, and your choices of footwear may become limited.
- Most importantly, a bunion can impact your ability to enjoy time spent with family and friends.
Unfortunately, a bunion can sometimes be a source of embarrassment as well. Patients often must choose between hiding their feet in uncomfortable, closed-toe shoes or wearing open sandals that provide some relief from pressure but display their deformed feet for all to see.
Fortunately, there's good news. Conservative treatments are often able to provide some much-needed relief from painful bunion symptoms—and even when these measures are not successful (as is the case with many severe bunions), advanced surgical procedures, like Lapiplasty®, can directly address these symptoms and permanently remove the "bump."
Though we consider surgery a last resort, it may be the best option when all other applicable conservative treatments have been tried and failed, or it is clear that these attempts will not be successful.
Conservative Bunion Treatments
When appropriate, conservative (non-surgical) treatments may be helpful in reducing the pain associated with bunions. Common conservative treatments for bunions include:
- Changes in footwear to prevent progression of the condition and minimize pressure on the area
- Padding to reduce pressure placed on the bunion, which can reduce pain and prevent other painful problems, like corns
- Custom orthotic devices to help reduce the forces that contribute to the progression of the deformity
Keep in mind that bunions are a progressive condition and will not go away on their own. Over time, they will continue to get worse and may even lead to other problems, such as arthritis and additional deformities. Though the measures listed above can often help manage painful symptoms, the only way to correct the deformity is through surgery.
Surgical Bunion Correction
When considering bunion correction procedures, there are several options to choose from. These can range from simply shaving off the visible bump to cutting and shifting parts of bones to fusing different bones together. Each choice has advantages and disadvantages.
It is important to understand that a bunion is not just a bump on the side of the foot; it is actually a complex, three-dimensional deformity that is caused when an unstable joint in the middle of the foot allows the bone behind the great toe (the first metatarsal) to shift out of position. As this occurs, the great toe turns towards the second toe, resulting in a bump on the side of the foot.
The ideal bunion correction will successfully address this complex 3D deformity while offering an optimal recovery and long-term stability of the correction. That's where Lapiplasty® 3D Bunion Correction comes in.
Lapiplasty® 3D: A New and Advanced Way to Correct Bunions
Dr. Thomas Pignetti and Dr. Fernando Fernandez are proud to be the first and most experienced surgeons in The Woodlands to offer Lapiplasty® 3D Bunion Correction. What's more, Advanced Foot Care is the first practice in the greater Houston region to be recognized as a Lapiplasty® Elite Center. This highest level of distinction given by Treace Medical Concepts (the company that developed and patented the procedure) identifies us as one of the most experienced practices in the nation to offer this procedure.
The Lapiplasty® procedure provides the benefits of a standard, reproducible surgical approach that achieves tri-planar 3D correction by using special instrumentation specifically designed to manipulate and reduce the bunion prior to making the initial bone cuts. This allows for minimal bone removal, which nearly eliminates the risk of significant bone shortening—and the end result is a more normal foot structure.
Titanium plates designed specifically for this procedure secure the correction at the previously unstable joint, addressing the root cause of the bunion deformity. The plates are thin yet strong enough to permit weight-bearing in a removable cast boot in as early as three days following surgery—a sharp contrast to traditional procedures that required at least six weeks of complete non-weight bearing. Additionally, after a successful Lapiplasty® procedure, the risk of recurrence is very low; your bunions will likely be permanently gone—yet another sharp contrast to other procedures, which often require additional surgical revisions years after the initial correction.
Request an Appointment
Ready to take the first step toward healthier feet? Complete our contact form or call us at (281) 292-7000 to schedule an appointment. We'll evaluate your condition, answer your questions and concerns, and discuss treatment options that can provide the relief you need and deserve.