Many women feel pressured by society’s expectations of beauty, both in physical appearance as well as fashion. Let’s face it—there is nothing pretty about deformities in the feet, and they often inhibit the ability to wear the latest in stylish shoes. It’s no wonder, then, that some women consider cosmetic foot and ankle surgery; but beware—opting for such procedures can have serious consequences.
Dealing with Deformities
It is especially common for women who wear high heels often to suffer from conditions like bunions, hammertoes, and Haglund’s deformity, otherwise known as “pump bump.” This is because in these styles of shoes the toes are abnormally squished together, and excessive pressure is placed on the ball of your foot and your heel. The resulting conditions can be painful and embarrassing, but podiatrists agree—you should try conservative measures to treat them first and only consider surgical correction if these treatment options are not successful, and pain is chronic.
Skipping right to cosmetic foot and ankle surgery for the sake of reducing embarrassment rather than pain can create more serious problems down the road. This is especially true of “Cinderella” procedures done specifically to conform your foot to fit high heel styles that are all the rage. These procedures make your foot smaller or slimmer by shortening toes and removing fatty deposits and even the pinky toe completely. Collagen can be injected into the balls of the feet to provide unnatural padding as well. Altering your foot structure in such ways affects bones, ligaments, tendons, and nerves, all of which you need to balance your weight and move you around. If you manipulate or remove them, it can not only result in permanent damage, but also cause debilitating deformities worse than what you had in the first place!
When is Surgery the Right Choice?
If you have a foot deformity, there are things you can do to ease discomfort and prevent progression. First and foremost, cut way back on wearing heels. There are a wide array of stylish shoe options out there that look fashionable while keeping your feet comfortable and unharmed on a daily basis. Be sure they have plenty of room for your toes. You can also try orthotic shoe inserts that discreetly slide into your shoes to provide extra support and cushioning. Stretching exercises, special padding, and toe separators are also helpful. Only when all of these methods have been exhausted, yet pain persists, should surgery be considered.
Which procedure is right for you depends on the type and severity of your condition, but each is performed to restore function and mobility, and relieve pain, not to enable you to go back to frequently wearing heels—you should still save those stilettos for special occasions! Otherwise, you’ll be right back where you started.
For more information about conservative foot treatments and appropriate surgical procedures, contact Dr. Cynthia Oberholtzer-Classen and the team at (303) 805-5156. Visit Podiatry Associates, P.C. in Castle Pines, Cherry Creek, or Parker, CO today to learn more about the dangers of cosmetic foot and ankle surgery, and safer alternate options.