Lapidus Procedure for Bunion Correction

Overview

This procedure is used to correct a bunion, a bony bump at the base of the great toe caused by excess bone growth and misalignment of the bones of the foot and toe. This procedure removes the bump and brings the toe back into proper alignment.

Preparation

In preparation for the procedure, the patient is positioned and the anesthesia is administered. The surgeon makes an incision along the top of the inner side of the foot to access the bunion and the misaligned bones of the toe and foot. These include the proximal phalanx, the first metatarsal and the cuneiform.

Removing the Bump

The surgeon trims away the excess bone growth from the end of the metatarsal, eliminating the large bump on the inner side of the foot. The surgeon may also cut a tendon in the foot that is pulling the toe out of alignment.

Correcting the Joint

The surgeon then focuses on the joint at the base of the misaligned metatarsal, repositioning the metatarsal against the cuneiform. The surgeon may need to remove a section of bone to create space so that the metatarsal can be positioned correctly. Shifting the base of the metatarsal allows the entire toe to be straightened into proper alignment.

Securing the Bones

Screws, pins or other implant devices are used to anchor the base of the metatarsal to the cuneiform bone. As the bone heals, the metatarsal will fuse to the cuneiform.

End of Procedure and Aftercare

When the procedure is complete, the incision is closed and the foot is bandaged and placed in a cast for six to eight weeks. The cast may be replaced by a walking boot for an additional two to four weeks while the foot heals.

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