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Senior Olympian Wins with Bunion Surgery

Senior Olympian and avid tennis player Wanda Martin chose the Lapiplasty® Procedure to correct her painful bunion, and she never looked back. Hear in her own words why she chose the Lapiplasty® Procedure.

By Wanda Martin, Bartlett, Tennessee

I’ve always been an active person. A typical day for me involves walking four miles in the morning, going to the gym and twice a week, playing tennis. I also love to volunteer. I volunteer at the hospital, at my church and at the library. I would describe my life as both full and active, which is how I like it. So, when a bunion on my foot started to slow me down, you can imagine how unhappy I was.

“You have a bunion!”

Let me take you back to when the bunion really started to bother me. I was working for FedEx in a job that kept me traveling a lot and engaging with customers, which I loved. I’m retired now, going on 14 years, but back then I would be on my feet sometimes 12+ hours a day. I suffered with a bunion for a long time. I would start out in the morning and my foot would be fine, but by the end of the day it felt like it was on fire. This went on for a long time until finally someone told me, “You have a bunion!” That was the first time I thought about it. Until then, I thought I just didn’t have the right shoes.

“It felt like the side of my foot was literally on fire.”

I tried a lot of stuff from the drugstore to wrap around my bunion toe, but it just didn’t get better. In fact, it kept getting worse. The best way to describe the pain is like fire. It felt like the side of my foot was literally on fire. Around this time, I also discovered that bunions are hereditary.1 My mom had them. I remember in the summer she never wore sandals. I asked her about it once and she said “Oh, my bunions are so bad.” I didn’t know what they were at the time, but now I totally understand!

“Everyone I knew who had bunion surgery [. . .] was in so much pain… .”

Everyone I knew who had bunion surgery – traditional bunion surgery – was in so much pain and was out of commission for a long time. They all said they would never do the other foot. Eventually, my primary care physician referred me to a foot specialist, and I went. When the nurse entered the room, I asked her, “When people have this surgery, how do they do?” Without hesitating, she told me, “They hate us for the first weeks because they’re in so much pain.” And that sealed the deal for me. I decided I was going to wait for something better to come along.

“I’m not doing this!”

“I’m not doing this,” I said to myself. I just kept waiting. In the meantime, I kept on buying wide shoes and searching online for other options. I’ve always been active, even when I was working, so it was definitely a challenging time for me. After I retired, I started focusing more on physical fitness. Although I was still able to do pretty much everything I wanted to, I couldn’t do it as well or as fast as I would have liked. Some exercises, like plank, I just couldn’t do at all because my bunion hurt so bad. But still, I decided to wait for a better alternative.

“I saw something online about Lapiplasty® and I jumped right on it.”

Finally, in 2019, I saw something online about the Lapiplasty® Procedure and I jumped right on it. Because only a surgeon can determine if you’re a candidate for the surgery, I found one in my zip code and I made an appointment right away. I found out that this procedure I found out that this procedure allows a relatively quick return to weightbearing in a walking boot. After that first visit, I scheduled my surgery.

“… only two weeks later I was in a walking boot.”

I realized I had made a good decision with Lapiplasty® Procedure immediately. I was able to get up and use my scooter to move around the house right away, and only two weeks later I was in a walking boot. My friends couldn’t believe it. The first two weeks were non-weight bearing and I did have to visit my doctor every week, but before I knew it was in a walking boot. When I could start using the boot, I actually went to the gym and would walk around the track very slowly. My surgery was in November and I didn’t have to miss any Thanksgiving activities. By six weeks, I was back in tennis shoes and driving a car again

“Lapiplasty® has definitely improved my quality of life.”

It has met and exceeded my expectations. The Lapiplasty® Procedure has definitely improved my quality of life. I don’t have to worry about my right foot sticking out. Before I was afraid someone would bump into me with a cart and I would feel like I was dying from the pain right there on the spot. I don’t have to worry any more. I’m actually looking forward to having the left one done so I can wear cute sandals!

Read more about Wanda’s experience with the Lapiplasty® procedure here. If you’re looking for a solution for your bunion, consider Lapiplasty®.

Take a quiz to see if Lapiplasty® may be right for you and look for a surgeon in your area.

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. More information on risk is available at Patient Risk Information.

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As a medical device manufacturer, Treace Medical Concepts, Inc. cannot provide any opinions or other medical advice to patients. For medical advice please contact your doctor.