When it comes to surgery, smaller is better than larger. If you can fix a problem using a small incision, it’s far better for the patient (in terms of recovery time, post-surgical pain, complication risk, and even cost) than if performing traditional open surgery with a large incision. Because of this, over the decades surgeons have been pioneering and developing minimally invasive surgical techniques that make use of specialized equipment and instruments which effectively treat foot or ankle pathologies using extremely small incisions.
How small? In almost all cases, the incision requires no more than a single stitch to close. In a few cases, you may not need a stitch at all—a simple adhesive bandage will do the trick.
Examples of procedures we commonly perform using minimal incisions include:
- Eliminating bone spurs
- Removing the bony bump of a bunion and realigning the toe bones
- Fixing hammertoes
- Correcting bony deformities that cause painful corns to form between toes
In order to perform these kinds of complex procedures using small incisions, special tools are required. A small rotary burr, about the size of a pencil, is used to make the initial opening. A small camera at the end of a narrow cable allows the surgeon to view the damaged structures and operate successfully using live video.
Not every person will be a good candidate for minimally invasive surgery—depending on the nature of your condition, a more traditional open surgery may be your only good option. That said, those who qualify for the procedure can experience significant benefits, with fewer risks and side effects and a much faster return to full activity. To learn more or to set up your appointment, please call the team of Dr. Joel Foster in Lee’s Summit, MO at (816) 246-4222.