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 foot surgeon Dr. Adam Katz.
Katz said the deformity of the joint connecting the big toe to the foot can be genetic but made worse by certain shoes. He said 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," Katz said. "A lot of patients were unhappy."
Katz is now using a new procedure called lapiplasty, which 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.
“It’s a miracle," Lepofsky said. "That’s all I can say; it’s a miracle."
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 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, visit https://www.treace.com/lapiplasty/.