When we use the term "minimally invasive", we are referring to a type of surgery that is done with either a very small incision or no incision at all. The foot surgeon performs the procedure in a way that causes little or no trauma to the patient using tools like lasers, endoscopes or laparoscopes. The benefits of minimally invasive surgery is that is involves less bleeding, little to no amounts of anesthesia, less pain, and minimal scarring.
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.
During a minimally invasive procedure, surgeons make several small incisions in the skin. Specialised 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.