Minimally Invasive Foot Surgery


Edited by Dave Townshend, MBBS

Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) of the foot and ankle is becoming more common. These procedures are performed through small incisions instead of one large incision. The advantage of MIS is that the incisions are small and therefore patients often have quicker recovery times and less discomfort than with conventional surgery. The potential disadvantage of MIS is that in some instances it may be more difficult for the surgeon to see the pathology that needs to be addressed and perform the operation that needs to be done.

During a minimally invasive procedure, surgeons make several small incisions in the skin. Specialized instruments can then be passed through these incisions to allow the surgeon to perform the operation. Sometimes a small camera (called an endoscope or arthroscope) is passed through one of the incisions to give the surgeon a view of what is inside. Sometimes an x-ray is used to show the surgeon where the instruments are. If the surgeon is unable to perform the surgery adequately or cannot gain a good enough view the procedure may be converted to use a larger incision.

An operation should only be performed as a minimally invasive surgery if the surgeon is confident that the outcome would be as good or better than with a large incision. Your surgeon will be able to discuss this with you.

Not all procedures can (or should) be done through minimally invasive methods. Procedures that are sometimes performed as minimally invasive surgeries:

Edited June 26, 2017

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