The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Percutaneous Foot Surgery For Bunions and Hammertoes Coming to Mt. Sinai Hospital

Posted by on Friday, August 25th, 2017

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Mount Sinai recently became the first and only hospital in the state of New York to offer the new percutaneous foot surgery for bunions and hammertoes. This is exciting news, as our NYC foot surgeons are continually looking for innovative ways to help patients recover faster and more efficiently. Following the success of the pilot program, percutaneous foot surgery may become an option for patients looking for quicker recoveries from injury or pain.

 NYC foot surgeons discuss percutaneous bunion surgery, now offered at Mt. Sinai Hospital.
NYC foot surgeons discuss percutaneous bunion surgery, now offered at Mt. Sinai Hospital. Image Source: Wikimedia user Workhorse.investor.

What is Percutaneous Foot Surgery?

Percutaneous foot surgery was first developed 50 years ago, but it picked up a lot of steam over the last decade as an advance in the treatment of bunions and hammertoes. Scientists in Europe, in particular, have refined the technique to reduce complication rates and get better long-term results. Using the tiniest of incisions (about 5 mm), the surgeon fixes the foot’s alignment using tools inserted through the small opening. At the same time, the surgeon watches real-time X-ray images to see what’s happening internally.

The minimally invasive bunion procedure equates with shorter recovery time, less pain, and smaller scars. There is no bone breakage and minimal soft tissue and bone dissection, reducing swelling and making it easier to return to weight bearing activities quickly—sometimes in as little as two weeks. Patients exhibit improved range of motion for the toes and enjoy the improved cosmetic appearance of the feet. The Kirschner wire fixation method for surgery is a cost-friendly alternative to traditional fixation as well.

Who Qualifies For Percutaneous Bunion Repair?

“We discuss a number of options before we arrive at the decision to go for surgery,” explains Dr. Josef J. Geldwert. “Of course, the deformity will be always be there, but mild bunions can be managed non-surgically using custom orthotics, ice, pads, splints, toe separators—that sort of thing. These methods can prevent a bunion from worsening and ensure that the bunion stays asymptomatic. If the bunion causes serious pain, losses in quality of life, difficulty finding shoes that fit, and limited mobility, then we talk surgery.”

Ideal candidates for the new bunion surgery offered in NYC include:

  • Athletes looking for a faster return to sports
  • High-heel wearers who wish to continue wearing their favorite shoes
  • High-risk patients like smokers, diabetics, or the obese, who may otherwise not qualify for an open procedure

You may not be a good candidate if you have a loss of joint space due to degenerative arthrosis or periarticular bone spurs.

What Our NYC Foot Surgeons Say

“Percutaneous techniques will never completely replace conventional methods for bunion repair,” explains Dr. Josef J. Geldwert. “The truth of the matter is that there are not enough bunion surgeons skilled or experienced enough to work under those conditions, where it is difficult to see what is going on beneath the skin. Some surgeons will only feel comfortable with open methods. There are over 100 types of bunion surgery available to today’s surgeon, which vary depending on the disorder, the patient, and the surgeon’s comfort level. I think it’s a great option, and we’ll certainly be watching the pilot programs to determine if it’s something we’ll be doing in the near future. Right now, we offer a number of proven, minimally invasive bunion repair techniques designed to get athletes and other patients back on their feet as quickly as possible, with minimal scarring and discomfort.”

NYC Foot Surgery For Bunions or Hammertoes

The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine’s Dr. Josef J. Geldwert and Dr. Katherine Lai are clinical instructors in the orthopedic department at Mount Sinai’s Medical School, with operating privileges at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. Contact one of these experienced, board-certified NYC bunion surgeons to attend to your bunion or hammertoe surgery needs.

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.