Minimally Invasive Foot and Ankle Surgery Introduction
Using a minimally invasive approach, the surgeon is able to reach the part of the foot that needs correction through tiny incisions, rather than opening up the joint.
The principle is to achieve the same objectives as open surgery, but in doing so, minimise the incisions used and trauma for the patient.
Importantly, the form of Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) we have developed is founded on long established approaches to foot surgery. This means the patient’s recovery and outcome is very controlled and predictable. However, we are able to achieve this outcome while reducing impact on bone structure and soft tissues.
“Having had an open cheilectomy 15 years ago on one toe and a minimally invasive cheilectomy recently on the other toe, I wish I could have had minimally invasive surgery on both toes. The results are marvellous.”
How long will it take to recover?
Recovery after MIS for lesser toe correction
After minimally invasive surgery to correct lesser toe deformity you will need to wear a special post-operative protective shoe for 1–5 weeks depending on the type of correction performed. The hundreds of procedures we have undertaken show:
- There is less trauma to the soft tissues and surrounding joints.
- Minimally invasive techniques mean we can usually avoid using temporary wires in the post-operative period as are usually required for open techniques. There is less stiffness and the toes look more natural than with open techniques that often rely on fusing joints in the toes to gain correction.
- Patients are mobile from day one and generally return to most activities from one to four weeks (depending on the correction required), which also helps overall outcome.
Recovery after MIS for arthritis in the big toe (cheillectomy)
You will need to wear a special post-operative protective shoe for 4–7 days after minimally invasive cheilectomy – much less than people who have had open cheilectomy surgery. Our experience of hundreds of these procedures undertaken shows:
- There is less trauma to the soft tissues attached to the joints. This means there is less bruising and swelling and by seven days, your foot is likely to look close to normal with less pain and joint stiffness than with open techniques.
- Patients are mobile from day one and generally return to most activities from two weeks post surgery, which also helps overall outcome.
- Patients may be able to return to driving after one to two weeks.
- However, it is important to note that this procedure is not so effective in more advanced arthritis in which other treatments such as fusion may be more appropriate.
Recovery after minimally invasive heel shift surgery
This surgery is often used by LFAC surgeons as part of a larger foot correction such as flatfoot correction surgery. The keyhole heel shift technique dramatically reduces the overall trauma to the patient and avoids what can be a large heel incision used for the open equivalent. Our large experience of this procedure shows:
- There is less trauma to the soft tissues and shorter operative time. This means there is less bruising, swelling and pain than with equivalent open techniques.
As the heel shift usually forms a part of a larger corrective operation, patients’ mobility generally depends on these other surgical procedures performed, but usually requires non-weight bearing on crutches for the first four to six weeks.