Bunions are one of the most common foot conditions we treat, which is why we are always working to advance our understanding of the best ways to correct the problem. There are numerous courses of treatment for bunions that depend heavily on the patient in question. In this blog, we discuss one particular treatment avenue – the lapidus operative bunion correction and why our team often recommends and performs it for the right patient.

What Is Lapidus Bunion Correction?

A lapidus is a corrective procedure that is designed to address the bunion issue in three different dimensions. The three dimensions that are often affected by normal bunion development are:

  • The sideways movement of the first metatarsal bone.
  • Upwards movement of the big toe joint, shifting pressure toe the other toes.
  • Rotational metatarsal movement, shifting the joint out of alignment.

The goal of surgery should be to permanently correct all three dimensions that have been affected, but many standard procedures only offer surface level corrections. They shave down shifted bone and secure it in place, which while it will address the visible deformity, doesn’t typically manage the rotational changes in the joint. Because of this, the bunion can come back if exposed to repetitive strain and poor footwear. In fact, roughly 1 in 3 people who undergo this type of procedure see their bunion return.

That’s why we often choose the lapidus procedure that targets all three dimensions that have been affected by the bunion onset. The procedure begins by shifting the metatarsal bone back into natural alignment instead of shaving down the bone to achieve this metatarsal straightening.

Once the metatarsal has been repositioned into its normal healthy position, it needs to be reinforced, otherwise the unstable joint will quickly shift back out of alignment. This is done with a small titanium plate that will keep the metatarsal from moving in any of the three dimensions listed above. It also corrects this rotational shifting that goes unaddressed in a standard osteotomy correction, and it leaves you with more of your original bone!

Bunion Surgeon in Enfield, CT

If you are struggling with bunion pain that’s interrupting your quality of life, contact Dr. McDonald today to learn more about the various treatment options that may be beneficial! Dr. McDonald is a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon with years of experience treating patients for a wide range of foot and ankle conditions and injuries. Reach out to our team today to set up your appointment!

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