WVU Doctor Develops New Technique To Treat Bunions

WVU Doctor Develops New Technique To Treat Bunions


NOBODY REALLY WANTS TO TALK ABOUT BUNIONS I THINK IT’S FAIR TO SAY, BUT A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE THEM AND THEY AREN’T FUN. IF YOU’VE HELD OFF HAVING THEM REMOVE BECAUSE YOU’RE AFRAID IT WILL BE PAINFUL, IT MAY BE TIME TO TAKE ACTION. HEALTH EDITOR DR. MARIA SIMBRA EXPLAINS HOW A NEW TREATMENT FOR BUNIONS IS GETTING PEOPLE BACK ON THEIR FEET IMMEDIATELY. THROUGH THE YEARS WITH ALL THE ACTIVITIES THAT I WAS DOING IT SEEMED PROGRESSIVELY TO GET WORSE. Reporter: SOMETHING WAS WRONG WITH ANN OXLEY’S FOOT. IT GOT TO THE FOOT WHERE I WAS VERY LIMITED ON THE SHOES I COULD WEAR. MY MAIN CONCERN WAS NOT BEING ABLE TO KEEP UP WITH MY KIDS AND HIKES AND WALKS AS WELL AS GOING TO THEIR SPORTS ACTIVITIES. I DEFINITELY HAD A BUMP. I THOUGHT IT WAS A LARGE BUMP CONTINUE AND IT DID COME ALONG WITH THE PAIN AND DISCOMFORT. MOST OF THE TIME OUR PATIENTS COMPLAIN OF PAIN. MY AVERAGE PATIENT IS 45 YEARS OLD. THEY’RE WORKING. THEY HAVE CHILDREN. THEY HAVE EVENTS TO GO TO. Reporter: PEOPLE WHO GET BUNIONS ARE BORN WITH THE TENDENCY. MOST PEOPLE THINK SHOES CAUSE BUNIONS. THEY DON’T, BUT THEY MAY MAKE IT COME ON FASTER. CHANGED SHOES. I MODIFIED MY ACTIVITIES. I QUIT RUNNING. Reporter: IF LOW HEELED COMFORTABLE SHOES AREN’T HELPING AND THE PAIN INTERFERES WITH DAILY ACTIVITIES, SURGERY IS AN OPTION. IF YOU WANT TO BE A RUNNER, I GOT TO FIND A WAY TO MAKE YOU INTO A RUNNER. IF YOU WANT TO WEAR FASHIONABLE SHOES, I HAVE TO HELP YOU FIND A WAY. Reporter: MOST PEOPLE SEE A BUMP NEAR THE BIG TOE ON THE INSIDE OF THE FOOT AND IDENTIFY THIS AS THE BUNION, BUT ACTUALLY THE PROBLEM IS IN A JOINT HIGHER UP IN THE FOOT. ONE APPROACH IS TO SHAVE DOWN THE BONY PROMINENCE, BUT THAT DOESN’T CORRECT THE ISSUE. JUST HIDING THE BUMP HAS HELD TO THE RECURRENCE OR THE BUMP COMING BACK AND THE REASON IT COMES BACK IS THAT JOINT THAT STARTED IT ALL WAS NEVER ADDRESSED. Reporter: THIS THIS ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON DEVELOPED A NEW TECHNIQUE CALLED LAPAPLASTY. IT REALIGNS THE BONES AT THE PROBLEMATIC JOINT. THE DOCTOR MAKES AN INCISION AT THE TOP OF THE FOOT AND TAKES OUT THE CARTILAGE AT THE INVOLVED JOINT. JIGS AND CLAMPS HOLD THE BONES IN REALIGNMENT. THE BONES ARE THEN FIXED INTO POSITION WITH TITANIUM PLATES AND SCREWS. THEY ARE FLAT AND FLEXIBLE. THEY’RE MEANT TO MOVE WITH WEIGHT BEARING. Reporter: PATIENTS CAN BEAR WEIGHT IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE PROCEDURE. IT IS AN OUTPATIENT SURGERY. YOU’RE ONLY HERE THE AFTERNOON OR MORNING AND YOU’RE GONE. MOST PEOPLE GO BACK TO WORK IN ABOUT TWO WEEKS. THEY SAY THEY CAN’T WAIT TO DO THE OTHER SIDE SO THEY CAN GET A PAIR OF SHOES THAT MATCH. Reporter: AFTER SURGERY INCISION REPAIR AND SWELLING CONTROL AND WATCHING THE BONES HEALING IS IMPORTANT. IN THE FOUR YEARS SINCE THE DOCTORS STARTED PERFORMING THE SURGERY THE NUMBER OF COMPLICATIONS HAVE BEEN SMALL OCCURRING IN ABOUT 1% OF PATIENTS. WE WILL PASS 10,000 SURGERIES IN OUR HISTORY THIS SUMMER. Reporter: IN THE UNITED STATES 150,000 BUNION SURGERIES ARE DONE A YEAR. YOU CANNOT HAVE LAPAPLASTY IF YOU HAVE A NERVE PROBLEM CALLED NEUROPATHY OR SEVERE ARTHRITIS OF THE BIG TOE. ANN HAD HER PROCEDURE IN DECEMBER. SHE WAS THRILLED SHE DIDN’T HAVE TO BE IN A CAST THREE MONTHS. I WAS GLAD THAT I WOULD BE ABLE TO JUST BE IN A BOOT FOR SIX WEEKS, TO ACTUALLY HAVE A SURGERY WHERE THEY FIXED A BONE AND TO BE ABLE TO WALK ON IT THE SAME DAY WAS PRETTY AMAZING. Reporter: THE GENERAL ADVICE IS NO RUNNING OR JUMPING FOR FOUR MONTHS, BUT JUST THREE MONTHS AFTER SURGERY ANN WAS BACK TO NORMAL. PROBABLY AT THE GYM ABOUT FOUR TIMES A WEEK. I’M KEEPING UP WITH THE KIDS. I’M UP AND DOWN STEPS. I CAN COOK. MY HUSBAND AND I WENT TO THE MASTERS. I WAS ABLE TO STAND AND WALK AROUND FOR SIX HOURS. SO I HAVE NOT BEEN LIMITED IN ANY OF MY ACTIVITIES.

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