Major breakthrough for a common bone deformity

Putting the spring in your step

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — A new surgical technique is a game changer for active, local women and men, and a St. Augustine doctor is one of the few who perform it.

On average, 30% of women in the U.S. have a bone deformity on their foot, also known as a bunion.

Traditionally, surgery will call for a surgeon to shave away at the protruding bone. Recovery takes months and about 70% of the time, the painful lump comes back.

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That's what happened to Jenna Jones.

"It's kind of embarrassing," Jones said. "It's a bone deformity, but I wouldn't have done anything to it if I didn't have pain."

The 31-year-old runner hung up her running shoes, because nothing could ease her suffering.

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"The pain was the debilitating," Jones said. "It started affecting my everyday life."

With one surgery under her belt and no relief, Jones had given up — until she met Dr. Hort. He is one of a handful of surgeons to use special titanium plates to restabilize and secure the joint.

"The newer technology -- those risks are a lot less, and so I think people in general are probably going to become more comfortable with it," Dr. Hort said.

He operated on Jones in July. She has already seen a huge improvement. The X-rays speak for itself.

"Technically, it went as well as it could go," Dr. Hort said. "Sometimes that's hard in re-do situations because the bones have been cut. They're not exactly normal."

But, Jones said she finally feels normal.

Next up … a marathon.

"It's on the list" Jones said. "I'm gonna sign up for one, and start training hard-core."

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