Minimally Invasive Foot Surgery: The Basics
If you are that person who cringes at the thought of having a major operation, then minimally invasive foot surgery just might be an option for you. Read on to learn more about this advancement.
What It Is
‘Minimally invasive’ pertains to a type of surgery that involves a very small incision (only a few millimetres long) – or in some cases, no incision. The procedure is done in such a way that would cause less trauma to the patient because the tools used would be lasers, laparoscopes, or endoscopes. This is in contrast to traditional surgeries that are performed by using larger surgical instruments.
As compared to open surgery, minimally invasive foot surgery has a lot of advantages since smaller incisions are made. There is much less soft tissue stripping required just to gain access to the bone (for any bony corrections). Minimally invasive foot surgery may lead to reduced surgical time, less internal scarring and damage to tissues, quicker recovery time, faster return to normal activities and work, and more.
How It Is Done
The foot will be numbed with the use of anaesthesia – a patient has the option to be awake or asleep, just like in traditional surgery. An x-ray machine is essential to the operation because it will ensure that the specialist’s instruments are directed accurately. Several small incisions will be placed around the foot – this allows access for the instruments.
The Conditions That Can Be Treated
This type of surgery is particularly useful in bunion surgery – small scars and better joint movement are achievable. However, there is a wide variety of foot conditions that can be treated this way including hammer toes, plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, Morton’s Neuroma, and some aspects of flat feet and ankle arthritis.
Who Should Do It
Not all surgeons can perform this procedure. There is a specific training in minimally invasive techniques that are required. These training courses also have restricted access. This procedure uses a new range of surgical tools that are not normally used in a traditional setting. Handling these surgical tools needs proper training and experience.
Who Should Undergo This
Minimally invasive foot surgery is not for all patients. Most people are actually eligible to have minimally invasive surgery but some deformities are too large to be corrected using minimally invasive techniques. To know your options better, it’s best to consult our podiatrist, Dr. Sheldon H. Nadal, DPM.