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!