Have bunions, hammer toes, or foot arthritis been keeping you off your feet or in constant pain?
You’re not alone. Up to 60% of older individuals suffer from some kind of foot disorder (source: Arthritis Care & Research, news release, May 20, 2013.)
Many people are skeptical about or scared of surgery as a way to fix their foot or ankle ailments. However, the good news is that today, Minimally Invasive Foot Surgery (MIFS) uses the latest technology to get you back on your feet in less time and with less risks. As its name suggests, MIFS can treat ankle and foot pain caused by common foot conditions more quickly and efficiently than ever. Today, minimally invasive foot surgery minimizes both healing time and the amount of scarring that occurs after the treatment.
What happens during minimally invasive foot surgery?
MIFS aims to minimize damage to the muscles, tendons and bones of the foot during surgery so that patients can recover faster and experience less overall pain. By making small incisions in the most crucial places, less skin and muscle is affected as the surgeon is able to use the small portals to perform the procedure right on the affected areas instead of cutting into a larger surface area.
In some cases, surgeons can decide to use the latest technology, such as intraoperative fluoroscopy imaging to get a real-time look at the procedure as it is happening. This helps maximize the efficiency of the surgery, as well as decrease postoperative downtime. In other cases, an extremely thin instrument with a camera attached at the tip called an endoscope is used during surgery to guide the surgeon towards better accuracy, resulting in less blood loss and recovery time. At the end of the procedure, the medical instruments utilized are removed and the incision is sealed with special surgical tape.
Major benefits of MIFS vs. traditional open foot surgery:
- Smaller and less-noticeable scarring
- Minimized postoperative pain
- Decreased chance of infection
- Quicker total recovery time
- Less soft tissue intrusion
- Resume work and normal activities faster
Common foot and ankle conditions treated with MIFS:
- Hammer toes
- Flat feet
- Big toe and ankle arthritis
- Achilles Tendon Tear
- Toe abnormalities
- Trauma-related fractures
What to expect after the procedure:
Most people are back to their daily activities within days of the procedure, but exact healing time depends on age, severity of the surgery, overall health, and other factors. You are required to wear a special orthopedic shoe right after surgery, worn until at least your first postoperative appointment about 1-2 weeks later.
During your first follow up appointment, bandages may be changed, and x-rays may be taken to see how the foot is healing. After about 3-4 weeks, physical therapy may be recommended if there is pain or stiffness that affects mobility. During this time, maintenance of the affected foot becomes less strict, allowing you to wear your own comfortable shoes, as well as get back to regular exercise. We always recommend checking with your doctor to ensure you are ready to get back into any routine exercises.
Risks and complications associated with Minimally Invasive Foot Surgery
Just as any instance where the body is exposed to surgery, some risks exist with MIFS – including abnormal bleeding, infection, nerve damage, and an adverse reaction to general anesthesia. The chance for complications varies from person to person, so it’s best to speak to your doctor in more detail about your individual risk.
As always, if your feet are hurting for any reason, make sure to call our Evanston office – Evanston Podiatric Surgeons at 847-475-9030, or Downtown Chicago office –Mag Mile Foot and Ankle Institute at 312-236-3507. Our care options for foot injuries and pain include some of the most cutting-edge procedures and technologies available!