“It was so good to be able to get back to doing the things I enjoy without pain!”
Laura, a 38-year-old physical therapy assistant, is on her feet both at work and in her free time. At work she is demonstrating exercises, helping to transfer patients, and training them to walk again. It’s a very physical job. In her free time, she also enjoys physical activities, and is a hiker and runner with a love of the outdoors.
Laura has had bunions as long as she can remember. And, as she got older they started to hurt. In addition to the inconvenience and annoyance of the associated pain, the bony bumps were wearing holes in the sides of her shoes. Laura found that she was going through an additional pair of tennis shoes each year because of this reason. She also found that she couldn’t wear dress shoes or high heels because, with bunions, they just hurt too badly. On a hike in Arizona with her husband, her feet became so painful that she thought she wouldn’t be able to push through and finish the walk.
Laura had seen Dr. Jody McAleer, a podiatrist in nearby Jefferson City, MO for a stress fracture and she also knew him socially. After about two years of dealing with the discomfort, Laura decided to have Dr. McAleer take a look at her bunions. She was motivated to do something when it became impossible to get more than a 5-mile run in, because of the pain in her foot. At the appointment, she saw videos of a new procedure for bunion correction, Lapiplasty® 3D Bunion Correction™, and it made a lot of sense to her.
Dr. McAleer explained that the new Lapiplasty® Procedure returns the entire metatarsal bone to its normal alignment and stabilizes the joint, naturally removing the bump and straightening the toe. Unlike a traditional bunion surgery which focuses more on the cosmetic “bump”, Lapiplasty® 3D Bunion Correction™ addresses the true root cause of bunions by stabilizing the unstable joint at the base of the big toe. The doctor also explained that by using the Lapiplasty® Procedure, he wouldn’t be cutting into the bone and shifting it over – but explained how the procedure works to actually rotate the misaligned bone back into normal 3D alignment. He also explained how the metal plates used to secure the unstable joint would allow her to walk quickly after surgery in a boot1.
Laura liked the possibility of being able to work almost immediately after the surgical correction and decided to move forward with the procedure in November of 2017. After surgery, she used crutches for a day or two but was then able to walk on her own wearing a surgical boot. She wore the boot for six weeks and was able to move into tennis shoes for the next 6 weeks of her recovery. After 16 weeks of recovery, she was released by her doctor to start running! Since the surgery, she has run her first 5K race ever and has even run a few more of them, now, to date. Laura said, “It was so good to be able to get back to doing the things I enjoy without pain!”
As a physical therapy assistant, Laura now works with patients who have also had Lapiplasty® 3D Bunion Correction™. With her greater understanding of their experience, she feels better able to give the patients she treats confidence that they will continue to improve. For patients with bunions who have not yet had the procedure, she is able to let them know that a new option is available and that she would do it again herself.
According to Laura, “I have no pain in my left bunion, but if it ever begins to give me trouble I will most definitely see Dr. McAleer to have the Lapiplasty® (Procedure) on that foot too.”
Only a surgeon can tell if Lapiplasty® 3D Bunion Correction™ is right for you. As with any medical treatment, individual results may vary and this experience is unique and specific to this patient only. There are potential risks with surgery and recovery takes time. Potential risks include, but are not limited to: infection, discomfort from the presence of the implant, loosening of the implant, and loss of correction with nonunion or malunion
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