Mercy Medical Center orthopedic surgeon Dr. Rebecca Cerrato is one of the first surgeons in the United States to offer minimally invasive bunion surgery, an alternative to traditional surgery that can reduce post-surgical scarring, swelling and pain, Dr. Clifford Jeng, Medical Director, Institute for Foot & Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy, has announced.
"Mercy is proud to be a leader in offering advanced treatment options to patients with foot and ankle concerns. Dr. Cerrato has helped lead the effort to bring this innovative surgery to the U.S., and has completed specialized training to employ the advanced techniques necessary for this procedure," Dr. Jeng said.
A bunionectomy involves removal of a painful bunion through corrective bone cuts (osteotomies) and soft tissue rebalancing to realign the big toe joint. While traditional bunion procedures involve large incisions over the side of the bunion, the minimally invasive approach is achieved through smaller incisions "which results in less post-operative pain, a faster recovery for the patient, and less stiffness and scarring at the big toe," Dr. Cerrato explained.
Developed originally for maxillofacial procedures, the surgeon uses a specialized burr, a needle-shaped bone cutting tool, which creates precise bone cuts through "keyhole" incisions. Through several small incisions, typically no more than 3mm, the bone is cut and the soft tissue released, allowing the surgeon to realign the big toe joint.
Patients may bear weight after surgery in a post-operative surgical shoe. Most patients transition to regular shoes after six weeks.
According to Dr. Cerrato, minimally invasive bunion surgery may be an alternative to traditional bunion surgery for some patients.
"A recommendation to undergo minimally invasive bunion surgery will depend on the type and severity of the bunion," Dr. Cerrato said.