Are Bunions Keeping You From an Active Lifestyle?

At Florida Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center in Sarasota, Fl, we know that bunions can be painful and that they can keep you from doing the things you love. That’s why our board-certified, fellowship-trained  foot and ankle surgeons Dr. James Cottom and Dr. Jay Badell offer Lapiplasty 3D Bunion Correction, a new, patented treatment option for bunions.

Many people think that bunions are simply just an overgrowth of bone that just needs to be removed. However, they are actually a complex deformity of the foot caused by an unstable joint, and this deformity needs to be corrected, not just shaved off.

What Is Lapiplasty 3D Bunion Correction?

Unlike traditional treatment options for bunions, Lapiplasty 3D Bunion Correction is a new, patented treatment option for bunions that addresses the bunion at the primary source of the problem in three dimensions. This procedure not only used advanced fixation technology to keep the correction in place but also often allows patients to walk just days after surgery.  In addition, the surgeons at FLOFAC offer minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for bunions and many other conditions.

To learn more about how Lapiplasty 3D Bunion Correction works as well as how it differs from traditional surgery please call our office at 941.924.8777 or visit to see if you are a candidate for this procedure.

Why Is Traditional Surgery Ineffective?

Traditional bunion surgery uses a two-dimensional approach. In this procedure, the bone is cut in half, and the top part of it is shifted over to reduce the appearance of the bump. This cut and shift of the bone mostly addresses the symptoms of the bunion. It fails to get to the bottom of the issue or the primary problem, which is an unstable joint creating a three-dimensional deformity of the big toe. Because it doesn’t solve the underlying cause, most people who undergo traditional bunion surgery have their bunions come back.  In fact, one in three patients who undergo traditional bunion surgery is dissatisfied with the results.

Traditional bunion procedures are ineffective because:

  • 87% of bunions are misaligned in three-dimensions
  • 12x likelihood of bunion coming back if the 3D problem is not addressed
  • Up to 70% of bunion patients have their bunions return over time

Traditional 2D Surgery

Traditional bunion surgery is similar to fixing the Leaning Tower of Pisa by cutting it and shifting it over.

The Bump Is ShavedUnable Foundation (Source of the Problem Is Not Corrected)


Top of the Bone Is Cut & Shifted OverUnstable Foundation (Source of the Problem Is Not Corrected)


How Does Lapiplasty 3D Bunion Correction Work?

Unlike tradition bunion surgery where the bone is cut in half and shifted over, the Lapiplasty 3D Bunion Correction procedure uses instruments that have been specifically designed to rotate the bone back to its normal position. This naturally straightens your toe and removes the bump as well as it helps alleviate the pain it has been causing. Using titanium plating technology the foundation that was once unstable is secured. After the procedure, most patients are able to walk within a few days. Since a cast is not needed, they are also able to wear their own shoes and get back to doing the things they love quicker compared with some traditional technqiues.

Lapiplasty 3D Bunion Correction Surgery

Lapiplasty 3D Bunion Correction surgery is similar to addressing the underlying cause of the Leaning Tower of Pisa’s problem, the unstable foundation. By rotating the tower back into its original position and securing it, the problem is addressed.





Unstable joint with Bunion deformity                   



3D Correction Secures the Unstable Foundation PermanentlyJoint Is Permanently Secured



Entire Bone Is Returned to Its Normal Alignment







X-Ray Examples:



Normal Foot


Traditional Surgery with just moving the head of the metatarsal over and fixating with a screw.  The 1st TMT joint remains unstable at the primary cause of the bunion.  There is an increased chance of the correction not working and the bunion coming back as the foundation has not been addressed.



Lapiplasty 3D Bunion Correction


Titanium Plating Technology—Allowing Early Weight-Bearing

Using two small, anatomically-shaped titanium plates, the Lapiplasty 3D Bunion Correction procedure securely stabilizes the once unstable foundation of the bunion. The support this provides on multiple planes allows patients to walk a few days after surgery depending on swelling.  The procedure uses two small plates for correction as it is more secure than a single plate.

What Should Patients Expect for Recovery?

The procedure and the use of titanium plating technology allow patients the ability to bear weight on the foot early.  This improves the recovery process, providing patients the ability to walk  faster than those with a Lapidus, a traditional bunion surgery.

Recovery Comparison: Expectations

Lapiplasty 3D Correction

  • No casting
  • Weight-bearing within days*
    • Walking in a surgical boot for 6 weeks
  • At 6 – 8 weeks, patients can go back to tennis shoes
  • Walking 6 – 8 weeks ahead of the traditional surgery

*Smith B, et al. 2017 AOFAS Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA.

Traditional Lapidus Surgery

  • Casting, crutches, scooter
  • Non-weight-bearing**
    • Completely off the foot for 6 weeks
  • At 6 – 8 weeks, walking in a surgical boot
  • At 12 – 16 weeks, patients can go back to tennis shoes
  • 6 – 8 weeks behind Lapiplasty 3D Correction

**Catanzariti, AR, et al. Jml Foot Ankle Surgery, 38:325-32

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some questions that are commonly asked by patients as well as their answers:

How long does it take to recover from the Lapiplasty 3D Correction procedure?

Typically, patients are walking within a few days after surgery. Most can return to their occupations within days or a couple of weeks wearing a surgical boot. Around six weeks, patients can expect to be back walking in comfortable shoes. Of course, soft tissue swelling will often dictate how quickly we can walk our patients.  So this different with each patient and how much they swell after surgery.  At FLOFAC we do have advanced techniques to help resolve swelling quickly after any surgical procedure.

Can I still wear fashionable shoes?

The Lapiplasty 3D Correction procedure will allow most patients to return to their choice of shoes. However, some shoes can bring pain, even for people with normal feet.

Can I participate in sports after a Lapiplasty 3D Correction procedure?

Yes, the Lapiplasty 3D Correction procedure has no activity limitation once fully recovered. Most patients are able to return to their choice of activities once the bones are fully healed.

Can this procedure be performed on someone who had Bunion surgery before?

Yes, the Lapiplasty 3D Correction procedure can be an available treatment option if a revision is needed. Patients will still be able to experience the same benefits for the surgery—but with the underlying cause treated and definitively corrected.

I’ve heard the term “reproducible” used when describing this procedure. What does it mean?

Reproducible means that this surgery can be easily repeated and the outcome is usually consistant. Since the procedure uses specifically designed instruments and precision, the guesswork is taken out, allowing repeatable results again and again.

Is the Lapiplasty 3D Correction procedure an outpatient procedure, and how long does it last?

Yes, Lapiplasty surgeries are outpatient procedures that last a little under an hour. However, if any additional procedures are being performed by your doctor during this surgery, the time may increase.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cottom or Dr. Badell in Sarasota, FL,  please contact the office at 941.924.8777 or contact us through our homepage on


Author Dr. James M. Cottom Dr. James M. Cottom DPM, FACFAS is the owner and Director of the Florida Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Surgical Fellowship in Sarasota, FL. Dr. Cottom has practiced in Sarasota since 2007 and completed his fellowship training at the prestigious Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center in Columbus, OH under the guidance 3 fellowship trained orthopedic foot & ankle surgeons. Dr. Cottom is a devoted patient advocate and is very involved in the most up to date technology in foot & ankle care and has published over 60 papers and book chapters in peer reviewed publications. Dr. Cottom also routinely lectures on cutting edge procedures both in the United States and internationally. Florida Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center has graduated 13 fellows to date who are leaders in the profession and located all over the United States.

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