Back On Her Feet Again

Minimally invasive bunion surgery got Lynn back to her active lifestyle.

When bunions started to interfere with her active lifestyle, Lynn Schwab of Clinton Township decided to try a new minimally-invasive surgery available at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital that causes less damage to the foot, resulting in less pain and faster recovery time.

“I didn’t know what to expect. I was nervous based on what friends told me about their recovery from traditional bunion surgery,” said Lynn.

Traditionally, bunions are corrected through an open surgical incision that exposes bones and soft tissue. Patients typically must limit activity and wear a walking boot for up to six weeks following surgery. The surgical wound is painful and can take weeks to heal.

“The new minimally invasive procedure employs a special low speed, high torque drill that cuts through the bone but does not damage the surrounding tissue,” said Brain Loder, DPM, a podiatric surgeon at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital.

“While a traditional open surgery requires an 8- to 10-centimeter incision, the minimally invasive surgery takes two or three 1-centimeter incisions, that require no sutures, only butterfly tape, to close.”

The minimally invasive procedure is done in about half the time of a traditional surgery and because there is less scarring, it is also cosmetically more appealing.

Happily, Lynn had an excellent experience and outcome. She had some swelling but almost no pain when she woke up from the surgery. The December surgery didn’t even slow down any of her busy holiday plans.

Now, she’s back to bike riding and weight training. She says her surgical incisions look amazing. “They are fading away and you can barely see them. A friend of mine is jealous when she compares it to her traditional surgical scar.”

She has since referred friends and family for the surgery and is planning to have her second foot done by Dr. Loder later this year.

“This is without a doubt the most exciting news in foot surgery in several decades,” said Dr. Loder. “My patients report much lower pain scores following surgery. Their range of motion and functionality are much better. And they can walk immediately after surgery without the aid of a cast, crutches or walker.”

Henry Ford Health is the first to offer this new procedure in Michigan. For a referral, call (800) 532-2411.

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