Lapiplasty® 3D Bunion Correction

Updated 3/27/2024

A bunion is a structural deformity in the foot that causes a bony bump to form at the base of the big toe joint. While there are conservative treatments that can slow the progression of a bunion, surgery is the only way to “fix” the deformity.


Research shows that 33% of patients who have undergone traditional bunion surgery are left dissatisfied. What’s more, 70% of those unsatisfied patients had their painful bunions (hallux valgus) return. With decades of experience, our surgical team is successfully putting an end to this painful condition with Lapiplasty 3D bunion correction.

What is Lapiplasty?

Until the advent of the Lapiplasty procedure (a 3D bunion correction technology), surgeons approached bunion correction with an osteotomy. In an osteotomy procedure, the surgeon cuts the bone and pushes the top part over to reduce the appearance of the bump. Although this procedure is successful for some bunions, other bunions require more advanced procedures to correct the bunion at its core.


While osteotomy seems successful because the bump has disappeared, it does nothing to address the actual cause of the bunion — an unstable joint.


Lapiplasty, considered the next-generation Lapidus Bunionectomy, uses patented instrumentation to manipulate the deviated bone back to its original position without cutting the bone. The procedure naturally realigns the foot and straightens the big toe, alleviating the bump and accompanying pain.


Once proper alignment is achieved, Lapiplasty uses innovative bone fixation technology to secure the bones.


Lapiplasty Bunion Surgery Before and After Picture


How does Lapiplasty work?

At University Foot & Ankle Insitute, our surgeons use 3D imaging (medically known as C-arm CT) to design and perform the surgery on your metatarsal bone. This technique allows crystal-clear images to observe the intricacies of the foot and ankle during surgery.


These 3D images allow the surgeon to clearly see each joint in the foot and ankle to identify any alignment problems and determine how best to correct them.


This imaging also allows us to address the structural problems beneath the surface of the foot with advanced fixation technology. With the high-quality images in hand, our surgeons utilize the Lapiplasty 3D bunion correction to correct all three dimensions of your toe joint.



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What are the benefits of Lapiplasty bunion correction? 

There are several reasons that doctors are using this innovative technique. These include:

  • Low recurrence rate: almost 99% maintain the 3D correction after 17 months.
  • Quicker recovery time. In many cases, patients are weight-bearing within a few days of their surgery. This is an improvement over traditional bunion surgery which requires seven to nine weeks on non-weight-bearing.

  • Reduces operative time and decreases patient exposure to anesthesia.
  • Far less pain than traditional bunionectomy.
  • Lower risk of post-operative infection.
  • Cosmetically less scarring.
  • No external pins and wires, which reduces the chances of infection.
  • Advanced techniques cause less soft tissue to be surgically disturbed, which reduces pain and swelling. This less invasive technique also facilitates a more rapid return to daily activities.
  • No long-term need for a scooter, wheelchair, or crutches to remain mobile.


Why trust UFAI with your Lapiplasty foot surgery? 

Lapiplasty Before and after picture
Before and After image of UFAI Lapiplasty bunion surgery patient


University Foot & Ankle Institute is proud to be a leading organization in the research, education, and advancement of the Lapidus bunionectomy and a leading organization offering the Lapiplasty procedure as an option to our patients.


Our podiatrists treat you as an individual, not as just another patient. In creating a bunion treatment plan, we take into account your physical activities, profession, and what you expect to see as the result of our treatment. 


The bottom line is that our physicians, recognized worldwide for their skills, only use bunion surgery as a last resort. Most of our innovative treatment options are not surgical but more conservative ways to relieve your foot pain and get you back on your feet.


We understand that your time is valuable, so when our foot and ankle surgeons require a more detailed look at your feet, we don’t ask you to go anywhere else. UFAI has its own MRI, X-ray, and CT scan equipment.


Also, we have on-site physical therapy, which streamlines your recovery and allows our doctors to stay abreast of your recovery.


If you suffer from bunion pain and would like to schedule a consultation, please call (877) 736-6001 or make an appointment online now. 


Expert Lapiplasty near me 


University Foot and Ankle Institute is conveniently located throughout Southern California and the Los Angeles area. Our foot and ankle surgeons are available at locations in or near Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, the San Fernando Valley, El Segundo, the South Bay, LAX, Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, Valencia, Santa Clarita, and Santa Barbara.




Lapiplasty FAQs


Lapiplasty FAQs

What happens prior to Lapiplasty surgery?

Prior to surgery, our expert podiatry team performs a comprehensive assessment and creates a surgical plan. This is an outpatient surgery performed at a surgery center. You’ll be given light sedation, allowing you to sleep without the need for general anesthesia, and local anesthesia makes the procedure pain-free.


What is Lapiplasty surgery recovery?

At the end of the surgery, the foot is dressed and placed in a walking boot. Immediate weight bearing is allowed in a majority of cases. 


The bunion correction protocols we helped develop result in an essentially painless recovery. The overwhelming majority of our patients rarely take more than one or two prescribed pain pills following surgery and can manage their post-op pain with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. With decades of surgical experience, our surgeons use plastic surgery closure techniques that result in minimal to no scarring.


The patient is seen five days after surgery, and the foot is checked. Sutures are often removed, and the patient is allowed to bathe and get the foot washed. Range of motion exercises have begun and you can expect to start walking in comfortable shoes four to six weeks post-surgery


Depending on the occupation, most patients return to work within five days. However, if you are doing work that requires standing for long periods, it may be between four to six weeks until you can safely return to work.


About three to four months post-surgery, most patients can resume regular and high-impact activities.


Read tips on how to prepare your house for your bunion surgery recovery.


Will lapiplasty surgery change my shoe size?

In most cases, foot width will decrease, meaning you’ll feel more comfortable in shoes. The foot width will narrow with realignment and correction of the metatarsal bone. And the good news is with the reduction of the bunion deformity, you will be able to return to the shoe wear of your choice!


Lapidus Bunionectomy vs. Lapiplasty, what’s the difference?

Unlike the traditional Lapidus bunionectomy, which is more difficult to use to correct the bone in all three planes, the Lapiplasty procedure addresses all three dimensions of the bunion by rotating the entire affected metatarsal bone back into normal alignment and securing it.


Can I have Lapiasty after a failed bunion correction procedure?

Yes, we have successfully performed the lapiplasty procedure on patients with a failed traditional bunion surgery. The Lapiplasty procedure fixes the root cause of the bunion which makes for a successful outcome and almost no chance of reoccurrence. 


When can I drive after Laiplasty surgery?

If the surgery was on your right foot, it will be five days before you can drive. However, if the surgery was on your left foot, we can get our patients driving as soon as you are comfortable keeping the foot down. 


Is Lapiplasty surgery covered by insurance?

While most insurance policies cover Lapiplasty, you will need to work with your provider to determine your level of coverage.


What hardware is used during Lapiplasty?

During the surgery, the unstable joint is secured with patented titanium plates.


What happens if I do nothing about my bunion?

Early-stage bunion deformities will almost always get worse over time. Bunion progression cannot be stopped. Over time, your bunions will cause increased swelling, which causes more pain and will appear more pronounced as well. Other complications include osteoarthritis, bursitis, and crossover toe.


Who's not a candidate for Lapiplasty?

Eligibility for the Lapiplasty® Procedure is restricted under the following conditions:

  • Children under the age of 12.
  • Adolescents aged 12-21 with open growth plates in bones that are not yet fully mature, where the implant would intersect these areas.


Additionally, you may be disqualified from undergoing any surgical procedure, including Lapiplasty®, if you have:

  • An active infection.
  • Compromised blood circulation, are obese, or have bone that is either insufficient in quantity or quality.
  • Mental or neurological disorders that could hinder adherence to postoperative care guidelines.
  • A known allergic reaction to the implantation of foreign materials or to the specific materials used in the implant.
  • In cases of suspected material sensitivity, appropriate testing should be conducted prior to the device's implantation.


Are there any risks associated with Lapiplasty surgery?

Like all medical procedures, outcomes can differ from person to person. While there are numerous benefits, it's important to be aware of potential risks and understand that recovery times can vary. These risks include, but are not limited to:


  • Infection.
  • Negative reactions to the implant.
  • Experiencing pain, discomfort, or unusual sensations due to the implant.
  • The possibility of the implant loosening, bending, cracking, or breaking.
  • Failure of the bone to properly secure to the implant.
  • Potential for delayed healing, or in some cases, failure to heal properly, leading to a loss of correction or the bones not returning to their natural position. This can result in nonunion (where a fracture fails to heal) or malunion (where a fracture heals in a misaligned position).
  • Bursitis, or the inflammation of the bursa, which can increase friction in the tissues.


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