At the Next Step Foot and Ankle Clinic, we are pioneering minimally invasive surgery, in the San Antonio area. Traditional bunion surgery is notorious for being very painful, bunions coming back after surgery, long postoperative recoveries , and having ugly scars. There are a lot of misconceptions about MIS (Minimally Invasive Surgery) that we would like to clear up. MIS means that the procedure is performed through small incisions instead of a single large one. MIS offers many advantages over a traditional bunionectomy including less post op pain, a shorter operative time, and minimal disruption to the skin and soft tissue.
- Is it safe? Yes. With any surgery there is a possibility of having complications, but in general, minimally invasive surgery has the same amount or less complications than open surgery.
- Is the recovery shorter? In general, the recovery is shorter because minimally invasive surgery causes less soft tissue damage. You can even walk the day you have surgery. However, bunion surgery is a bone procedure and the bone still has to heal. If the bone has to be cut to correct the deformity, it takes 6-8 weeks for that bone to solidify. That does not mean you have to stay off the foot, but you have to take the correct precautions.
- What are the advantages of MIS surgery? The big advantage is less post-op pain. There is less stiffness simply because there is less soft tissue damage. Another advantage is a smaller surgical scar.
- Are screws or pins used to fix the bone? Yes. Our goal is to keep the bones in proper alignment and to allow the bone to be stable during the healing process.
- What is the normal recovery: You can walk the day of the surgery, but only short distances. Keep the foot elevated for 3-5 days. You must wear a protective boot for the first few weeks. Return to normal shoes in 3-5 weeks, depending on how you are doing. Best case scenario after 6-8 weeks you can stand or walk all day.
- Is there anything I can do to shorten the recovery? In our clinic, we offer post op patients MLS laser therapy. MLS Laser therapy is a FDA-cleared technology that has 85-90% efficacy rate in relieving pain and inflammation with no negative side effects. This also decreases healing time by 40% in some studies.