Dealing with Severe Bunions and the Best Option for Relief

By now, most Americans dealing with bunions understand what they are and what they look like. Bunions affect about 30 percent of the U.S. population and twice as likely to occur in women as men. They are bumpy or boney protrusions seen on the base of either big toe. Over time the big toe joint swells and bulges against the skin. In many cases the bunion becomes so severe that force the big toe to push inward towards the second and third toes, which may result in pain or hammer toe. This is commonly known as a form of severe disfiguring foot deformity and may make regular activities such as walking extremely difficult. Fortunately, bunion surgery is capable of treating such severe disfigurements.

What is Lapidus Bunionectomy?

Generally, there are two types of major bunion surgery. The form of correction is known as the head procedure which deals with the areas around the big toe joint and the base procedures work near or behind the big toe joint. The Lapidus Bunionectomy is a base procedure that restores the natural position of the big toe joint by relocating the misaligned metatarsal back to its proper position. Here is how the base procedure comes to play:

  • Cutting a wedge out of the affected bone

  • Create a semi-circular cut to rotate the bone

  • Fusion of the joint behind the big toe with surgical bone screws to hold the corrected position

Typically this is the procedure most foot surgeons turn to when moderate, severe or recurrent deformities do not respond to conservative treatment methods. By inserting screws or metal plate alongside the toe joint it allows stability of the area and decreases recurrence of a bunion deformity.

The method of using screws and plates depends on the preference and skill of the foot surgeon for the procedure. As per the study from the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery, the official medical journal for the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, patients treated for Lapidus bunionectomy fixated with a locking plate and plantar lag screw allows earlier weight bearing compared to crossed lag screws, without difference in complications. Depending on the severity and risk of using either, your foot doctor can strategize the best plan for treatment.

Lapidus Bunion Surgery Recovery

Typically the advanced techniques utilized during Lapidus bunionectomy allows patients to bear weight with the use of a stiff-soled surgical shoe. Though this makes for continued mobility it is important for patients to rest and relax their mended foot. Depending on the daily tasks and work requirements your foot should not bear more than a few moments of weight for a minimum of two weeks. Depending on the severity of the bunion your estimated recovery time may range from four to eight weeks. Your foot and ankle specialist may recommend strict elevation instructions for the first two weeks before consistent weight bearing can begin. The advantage of waiting two weeks allows for your podiatrist to feel confident about the healing of soft tissues during removal of surgical sutures.

The important thing to remember is that every patient and every bunion is different. Some patients have softer bones and require longer immobilization periods and some may require physical therapy but following your surgeon’s instructions closely will get you back on your feet to enjoy life free of bunion pain.

The Foot Doctor Los Angeles Residents Choose for Bunion Surgery

Dr. Jamshidinia is a board certified foot surgeon trained in all areas of foot and ankle surgery. Highly trained in reconstructive foot surgery, complex wound care, to foot and ankle trauma and limb salvage. If you’re looking for the knowledge of a foot doctor or the expertise of a foot surgeon, rest assured that your feet are in good hands when you visit Dr. Jamshidinia at his Los Angeles podiatry clinic.

Call (310) 247 – 9255 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. J regarding your issue. His friendly, and knowledgeable staff will show you why he is the foot doctor Los Angeles residents choose for bunion surgery. Read some of our success storiesview our before and after gallery.