Living in the time we are, we are quite fortunate. Modern medicine has come lightyears from where it was even a few decades ago, thanks to the rapid growth of technology and a growing body of research.
Many conventional treatment options that medical practitioners used are becoming less and less necessary, as new alternatives are being damaged. The patient’s wellbeing, as well as the practitioner’s ease, are being prioritized to develop faster, more efficient and less invasive procedures such as lapiplasty.
Lapiplasty is a type of foot procedure that involves minimally invasive surgical intervention for the correction of bunions.
The old vs. the new—what’s the difference?
In order to address why lapiplasties are innovative and effective, we must understand what conventional bunion surgery, i.e. osteotomies, are like.
Osteotomies involve cutting and repositioning the affected bone for a more ‘correctly’ shaped foot. This addresses the issue on the surface and a lot of people see benefits from this procedure; however, the underlying cause remains unaddressed.
Conventional bunion surgeries don’t really address the instability that causes bunions, they just fix the visible deformation. What this means for the patient is that without extreme precaution, continued use of orthotics and specific footwear, their bunions are likely to come back.
Of course, it works out because patients and doctors don’t consider alternatives and after paying thousands of dollars, plus recovery, nobody really wants to undergo another correctional procedure.
Lapiplasty, on the other hand, makes use of 3D imaging to understand the foot better. It’s a deeper insight into the structure of the foot and what’s causing the bunion and deformity in the first place.
What makes lapiplasty better?
It restores the foot’s anatomically correct position by correcting the instability in the foot. This allows for a long-term solution that not only addresses the underlying cause but also restores foot mobility.
Simply put, through lapiplasty, incisions are made along the foot, allowing the surgeon to correct the position of the bone, moving it back to its original place. Titanium plates are used to stabilize the bones and keep them in place. This means that the bone is now correctly positioned, and the bunion will most likely not recur.
Additionally, downtime following a lapiplasty is quite short, allowing people to regain complete mobility and functionality within a few weeks. In fact, they’re able to wear regular footwear after 6 weeks of recovery as well.