Medical and surgical care is often trending related to new technology and new concepts related to care. Surgical procedures are a great example of trends in medicine. A patient’s contact with a new procedure or technique may be a simple as your doctor attended a seminar where he/she learned a new technique.
Bunion procedures have a long history of trends based on clinical outcomes and new technology. The Lapidus bunionectomy, originally described by Paul Lapidus, MD (1893-1981), has had a recent revival in popularity based upon new techniques and equipment. The advantage of the Lapidus bunionectomy is that the correction addresses one of the primary contributing factors to recurrence of the bunion – the first metatarsal cuneiform joint instability. The Lapidus bunionectomy involves fusion of the first metatarsal cuneiform joint which helps to resolve the issue related to bunion recurrence.
Several surgical care companies have come out with jig guided techniques that create a more accurate cut in the bone and subsequently a better alignment for bone fusion. Lapiplasty from Treace Medical is one of the more popular techniques used today. In addition to helping the surgeon create a more precise cut in the bone, the Lapiplasty technique promotes early weight bearing post op. Traditionally, old school Lapidus bunionectomies required 8 weeks non-weight bearing while Lapiplasty enables patients to return to weight bearing as early as three weeks post-op.
The challenge with weight bearing post Lapidus bunionectomy all relates to getting bone to heal. Too much weight bearing, too soon, will result in a failed union of the bone and need for revision surgery. But early managed weight bearing actually contributes to better healing and improves the success of fusion.
Carbon fiber Spring Plates for Lapidus bunionectomy
The Carbon Fiber Spring Plate is a very thin yet very rigid foot plate that creates rigidity in the shoe. The Carbon Fiber Spring Plate also has built in toe spring. Toe spring is a built in rocker that decreases loading to the forefoot. Due to their rigidity and toe spring, Carbon Fiber Spring Plates are remarkably well suited to use in Lapidus bunionectomy patients. The rigidity of the Spring Plate braces the fusion site of the Lapidus bunionectomy while the toe spring off-loads the fusion site during gait.
Should every Lapidus bunionectomy patient use a Carbon Fiber Spring Plate? The answer is definitively yes. I want to provide my patients with every opportunity for success. That’s why I always recommend a Carbon Fiber Spring Plate to my Lapidus bunionectomy patients.