Surgery known as Lapiplasty helps address bunions at the root cause

Kari Beal has the story.
Published: Aug. 7, 2023 at 6:05 PM EDT
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RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. (FOX Carolina) - About 25% of Americans have a bone deformity, known as bunions. That’s according to a systematic review published in the National Library of Medicine. But a new procedure is helping people lose the pain and hit the trails again.

68-year-old Vera Kurzynski loves walking and exploring. Since retiring she’s been traveling the world. In the last two years she has visited 10 countries. Most of her exploring was done on foot.

“I would walk between four and six miles a day,” Kurzynski said.

Until one day her foot pain was unbearable. She went from walking several hours a day to barely being able to stand 15 minutes.

“I was so uncomfortable I could barely wear shoes,” Kurzynski said. “And I really didn’t know what was going on.”

After being diagnosed with a bunion she went to see Dr. Jason Glover. The podiatrist with Rutherford Regional Health System was offering a new surgery.

Lapiplasty has been out for a few years,” Dr. Glover said. “I didn’t get on board right away because I wanted to see some long-term studies.”

The long-term studies were promising and he started performing surgery on patients.

“We are fixing it at the foundation where the bunion comes as opposed to making a cut anywhere else in the bone,” Dr. Glover said.

Glover says the old way of surgery would cut and shift the bone. But sometimes the bunion returned and patients needed surgery again.

“With the Lapiplasty it is a permanent correction,” Glover said. “It fixes the bunion at the root cause or the foundation.”

Kurzynski was excited to try out the surgery because she wanted to start traveling and walking again.

“I told him I want my life back,” Kurzynski said. “I was so used to being on the go. When you don’t have that it takes the quality out of everyday living.”

It took a few months to heal, but now Kurzynski is back to walking. Recently, she hiked four miles.

“It means a lot, it means I am almost there and I am back to the quality I am used to,” Kurzynski said.