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What is Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery, and is it right for me?

Sep 17, 2020

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Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery is performed in approximately 30 minutes through 2-3 small (2mm) incisions, and allows patients immediate weight-bearing after surgery with less pain and swelling than traditional bunion surgery. Read more here.

Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery, or "MIS Bunion Surgery" was initially popular back in the mid 19th century.  However, enthusiasm quickly waned as early results showed less than favorable outcomes due to surgeon inexperience, and insufficient fixation. 

The pendulum swung back toward the opposite direction, with surgeons instead using large 5-6cm incisions for fusion or translational type procedures. These procedures produce less than appealing cosmetic scars on the top/side of patients feet, considerable pain and swelling, and require prolonged periods of non-weightbearing and/or protected weightbearing.  Fusion procedures result in permanent loss of joint motion, while translational osteotomies have shown an unsatisfactory high bunion recurrence rate as high as 79% within 10 years. 

Truth be told, there are no longer any real good indications for traditional translational ostetomy type procedures.  Although fusion remains a viable option in patients with arthritic changes or instability of the first ray, "MIS Bunion Surgery" has remerged as an alternative option due to improved surgeon experience during additional 1-year training for advanced surgery fellowships after residency, and improved fixation options. 

MIS Bunion Surgery is performed in an outpatient surgery center in approximately 30 minutes through 2-3 small (2mm) incisions, using special instruments that minimize soft tissue swelling, scarring, and pain.  Patients walk out of surgery the same day, transition back into normal shoe wear at 2 weeks, and return to normal activities by 6 weeks.  MIS surgery preserves motion while affording improved cosmesis, minimal swelling, and less pain. 

If you are considering MIS bunion surgery, it is important to schedule your appointment with a Fellowship-Trained, Podiatric/Orthopedic Surgeon.  MIS Bunion Surgery is much more techiqually demanding and difficult to perform than traditional open bunion surgery, and Fellowship-Trained, Podiatric/Orthopedic Surgeons have spent an additional year of intensive, advanced surgical training for such procedures, in order to provide patients with the highest quality of care.