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The Many Benefits of Minimally Invasive Foot Surgery

If you have a foot deformity such as a bunion, hammertoe, or bone spur, you’re seeking relief. Every step you take may hurt. You may be wearing sandals in cold weather because you can’t bear the discomfort if you wear shoes with a closed toe. Perhaps you’ve had to increase your shoe size, but the new shoes are too big on the normal foot. 

If you’ve tried conservative treatments for your foot problem and they haven’t worked, it’s time to consider surgery. You’ve heard that recovery from foot surgery takes months. Modern technology has improved surgical technique in foot surgery so that minimally invasive surgery achieves the same or superior results as the traditional ‘open’ surgery, but with additional benefits. 

Podiatrist Mark Forman, DPM, MBA, FAPWCA, evaluates each case and can often use minimally invasive foot surgery to correct bunions, hammertoes, and bone spurs. Twice recognized in Phoenix Magazine as a Top Doctor according to his peers, Dr. Forman uses the most up-to-date medical advances in his practice. 

The following are the major benefits of minimally invasive foot surgery. 

Small incisions

A major difference between open surgery and minimally invasive surgery is the size of the incision. For example, during open bunion surgery, you’d have incisions that range from two to six inches down the side of your foot. Dr. Forman’s minimally invasive incisions usually range from ⅛-inch to ½-inch. Which size incision sounds better to you? 

Minimal tissue disruption 

With a large incision, a large amount of tissue is disturbed, which increases the chance of infection. Tiny incisions don’t traumatize the skin and soft tissue to the degree that open surgery does, so there’s less chance of infection at the site. 

Local versus general anesthesia 

Traditional open surgery normally requires general anesthesia. Dr. Forman is able to use local anesthesia during minimally invasive surgery. 

You won’t have to suffer the unpleasant side effects of general anesthesia, which can include nausea and vomiting, dizziness, sore throat, and mental confusion. Elderly patients sometimes suffer memory loss, which may not dissipate for weeks or months. A new study found that general anesthesia may also result in cognitive decline in some people who are middle aged. 

Weight-bearing after surgery 

Would you rather be on crutches or be able to walk out of the office after foot surgery? The minimally invasive method Dr. Forman uses allows you to walk out of the office after the operation, bearing some weight on the foot. In contrast, patients don’t put weight on the foot for a number of days with traditional bunion surgery. 

Research 

An overview of a literature review in Podiatry Today cites a number of studies over the last decade about the results of minimally invasive bunion surgery. The studies indicate that overall outcomes and patient satisfaction are as good as or better than those of traditional open surgery. A 2015 study in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research concluded that the results of minimally invasive foot surgery, including bunion and hammertoe surgery, compares favorably to open surgery.  

Faster healing 

Because less tissue has been traumatized, you heal more quickly with minimally invasive surgery than with open surgery. The smaller the incisions, the smaller the wound. 

Less pain 

With faster healing, you have less pain overall than with open surgery. You’re able to resume normal activities more quickly because you’re more comfortable. 

Call or book an appointment with Mark Forman, DPM, MBA, FAPWCA today for relief of your foot pain.

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