There is no such thing as a “perfect” medical treatment. Even the simplest, most effective treatments carry the potential for some drawbacks. The same is true of minimally invasive surgery. At Northwest Surgery Center, we’re proponents of minimally invasive foot surgery and we believe that it is a great option for many of our patients. That’s why we’re happy to explain everything there is to know about this type of procedure, including the many benefits –– as well as the possible complications. Weigh the pros and cons here for yourself:
Avoiding Foot Surgery
Often, patients with foot pain will try to avoid surgery altogether if they can. And occasionally non-surgical methods like orthotics and medication can effectively alleviate foot pain issues! On the other hand, sometimes surgery is the only way to deal with a problem permanently. For example, bunions cannot be cured or removed through any method other than surgery. So if you’re suffering from bunion pain, then surgery may be your only viable option for relief.
Minimally Invasive Foot Surgery vs Open-Foot Surgery
There are dozens –– if not hundreds –– of different variations on foot surgery available to patients. Not only are there different techniques for different conditions, but there are also different approaches for the same condition! Broadly speaking, though, foot surgeries can be broken down into two groups: minimally invasive and open-foot.
Open-foot surgery requires the surgeon to make a large incision along the foot to correct whatever issue is causing the patient pain. Minimally invasive surgery, by contrast, uses advanced technology to correct foot issues through very small incisions.
As a result, minimally invasive foot surgery presents patients with many tangible advantages over open-foot surgery, including:
- Less pain during surgery and less residual pain afterward.
- Shorter surgery time.
- Less scarring.
- Shorter recovery periods.
It’s also worth noting that when performed well, minimally invasive techniques are just as effective as open-foot surgery.
Minimally Invasive Surgery Complications
The biggest issues regarding minimally invasive foot surgery are that it is a sophisticated technique that requires advanced technology and an intimate knowledge of the procedure. In other words, not every podiatrist or surgeon has the skills or the tools needed to perform minimally invasive foot surgeries. In fact, fewer than 100 doctors regularly perform minimally invasive bunion surgery in the U.S.
As with any surgical procedure, poorly performed minimally invasive surgeries may lead to nerve or muscle damage in the foot. Additionally, surgeries that don’t address the root cause of an issue (like a bunion) can leave the door open for recurrence down the line.
That’s why it’s key for anyone interested in minimally invasive surgery to find a qualified surgeon who has years of experience carrying out minimally invasive foot surgeries. When done correctly, minimally invasive foot surgery is superior to traditional surgical methods in virtually every way.
At Northwest Surgery Center, we’re experts in the field of minimally invasive surgery. We’ve been using minimally invasive techniques to provide vital foot pain relief for our patients for years, and we have the experience and the resources to ensure positive outcomes on a consistent basis. For more information about our process and your options, you can schedule a consultation with us here. We’re happy to discuss any questions you may have!