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Excela Health Offers Innovative Treatment for Bunions

GREENSBURG, PA, June 19, 2020 … Bunions may be an age-old problem, but the solution doesn’t have to be. Excela Health offers an innovative bunion correction surgery called the Lapiplasty Procedure. This approach utilizes advanced fixation technology to precisely correct the deformity and can dramatically shorten the time in which patients can walk after surgery cast-free.

“A common misconception is that bunions are just an overgrowth of bone at the
base of your big toe that can simply be shaved off,” said Ryan Flanigan, MD, an
orthopedic surgeon with Excela Health, who has performed nearly 100 of the
procedures in the last two years and achieved designation as a Lapiplasty Center of
Excellence. “In reality, bunions are complex deformities caused by an unstable joint in
the middle of the foot. With an unstable foundation, the bone can rotate out of alignment
in three dimensions and form that painful bump at the base of the toe.”

Annually, about 400,000 bunion correction procedures are performed in the
The United States.

According to Dr. Flanigan, during an osteotomy or traditional bunion surgery,
bone is cut in half and the top part is pushed over, thus just treating the bunion
symptoms or bump. “This simple cut and shift approach is a two-dimensional solution
for what in actuality is a three-dimensional problem,” noted Dr. Flanigan. “With the
incomplete 2D correction, an unstable joint remains at its foundation and the bunion has a significantly increased likelihood of coming back. In essence, you have treated the symptom, but not its root cause.”

The Lapiplasty procedure, however, utilizes specially designed instrumentation to
correct the entire metatarsal bone in all three dimensions, restoring it to its proper
alignment while naturally removing the bump and straightening the toe. Once the
metatarsal bone is repositioned, titanium plating technology is utilized to permanently
secure the unstable joint in place.

“Since the procedure uses advanced fixation technology, most patients are able
to bear weight much earlier than with previous procedures, which allows them to return to the shoe wear of their choice and routine activities more quickly,” added Dr. Flanigan. “This is a very effective and efficient therapy and a definite patient satisfier.”

Dr. Flanigan will be conducting a Virtual Conversation on this procedure at 6
p.m., Wednesday, June 24. To learn more or register for the free event, visit and search bunion.

About Excela Health:

Excela Health, a 578-bed, tertiary-based health System in Westmoreland County, PA includes three hospitals – Excela Westmoreland Hospital, Excela Latrobe Hospital, and Excela Frick Hospital – and serves more than 23,000 inpatients, 700,000 outpatients, and 100,000 emergency visits annually. With more than 700 physicians and allied health professionals and 4,800 employees, Excela is a regional leader in clinical areas such as Cardiovascular Disease, Orthopedics, and Emergency Medicine.

The System has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report among the
nation’s Best Regional Hospitals. To learn more, visit

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