Friday, March 29, 2013

Bunion Surgery for High Heels

I just saw a news piece that aired in Chicago yesterday morning that equated bunion surgery with wearing high heels.  While many women have bunions and surgical correction is advantageous - and considering that I don't oppose women wearing heels (safely) - I normally do not think of correcting bunions as a means of returning to heels. 

The story was about a newer bunion correction technique that was developed here in Chicago and while the jury is still out of any benefits of this technique (and I have heard of many complications from this particular technique), what bothered me with the news story was linking this technique with wearing high heels.  I think it was a stretch to put the two together.

So often, I am approached by the media to do a story on "cosmetic" foot surgery.  They are looking for stories of patients that have foot surgery so that they can look better, feel better and wear shoes better.   That scenario describes almost every one of my surgical patients but I wouldn't describe their surgeries as cosmetic!

The media is fixated on the idea of cosmetic foot surgery and while some surgeons on the east and west coast have found a niche marketing surgery that way, really, foot surgery is almost never cosmetic.  Bunions are deformities of the bones and joints in the foot - so are hammertoes.  Long toes lead to jamming and hammertoes - all medical issues and medically necessary corrections if someone decides to have them operated on.  Clearly, there are huge medical benefits to correct these deformities not to mention saving you from years of pain down the road.

So do bunions have a relationship with high heels?  Yes, bunions can interfere with wearing high heels - but bunions can interfere with wearing sneakers as well!  Bunions are usually progressive, often hereditary and can cause pain and interfere with your daily activities and all your daily shoe wear if not treated!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sarah Jessica Parker - Did She Say High Heels and Cheap Shoes??

I love Sarah Jessica Parker.  I love Sex and the City.  I love high heels.  But do I love the recent comments she made in Net-a-Porter about heels, cheap shoes and foot problems?  No! 

Lets see what they said she said.

Sarah Jessica Parker, we all know, is known for her many years of day to day wearing of beautiful, extravagant and expensive high heel shoes during Sex and the City.  In fact, in the article she said,  "I worked 18-hour days and never took them off."  But during filming of I Don't Know How She Does It, she wore a pair of cheaper shoes that led to her an ankle injury.

So she went to a podiatrist and she said he said, "Your foot does things it shouldn't be able to do. That bone there... You've created that bone. It doesn't belong there."  Is that really what he said?

They said she said that she slipped because the sole of the shoe was not leather.  Certainly a non-slip sole is important;  but, I bet he said that the cost of shoe is less of a factor than the components of the shoe.  I bet he said that a wider heel shoe is a more stable shoe despite the height of the heel.  And I bet he said that a higher heel shoe is a less stable shoe despite the width of the heel.  I am wondering if she said he said anything along those lines.  I bet he did.

Lets think about what she said he said about her bones.  First of all, wearing stilettos for years in your 20's, even if your foot type finds them comfortable, will lead to foot problems in your 30's.  That's what I said he probably said.   That would certainly be what I said had she come to see me.  The shoes do hold your feet in an unnatural position and puts strain on the bones in an unnatural way.  But did he actually say that they caused a specific bone?  I doubt that is what he said.  Maybe that's not really what they said she said he said.

Wearing those sky high heels on a daily basis may cause or contribute to many bone problems such as arthritis, stress fractures, bunions and hammertoes or even cause bone spurs.  Or an even bigger problem is when you wear high heels on a daily basis, your Achilles tendon tightens and shortens and it makes it almost impossible to wear flats!  If her podiatrist had asked Ms. Parker if that was the case, I am willing to bet my most expensive shoes that he said she said yes! 

You may love wearing those heels now; but no matter who you are, Sarah Jessica Parker included, those high heels will present problems down the line if you wear them too much.  

That's all I am saying.