HOUSTON (KTRK) --They say when the shoe fits, wear it. But most of us are guilty of squeezing our foot into a shoe that's too tight for pure vanity. The results could be ugly.
More and more women are experiencing foot deformities and pain thanks to sky-high sandals and stilettos. A number of women are going under the knife for what has been dubbed the Cinderella surgery. Dr. Neal Blitz in New York City calls his Bunionplasty(R) procedure plastic surgery for feet.
After years of wearing painful heels, Shawn Lindsey's feet were suffering the consequences.
"Pretty face with ugly feet don't mix," Lindsey said. "Don't laugh, but they looked like little claws."
She experienced chronic aching and eventually could no longer wear her high heels.
"So, I'm 39 years-old, and I'm walking around with flats on. I wanted to be pain-free with pretty feet," Lindsey said.
She turned to podiatrist Barry Weinstein for help. Like so many female patients, Lindsey had bunions and hammertoes.
"Her big toe was pointed out like this," Dr. Weinstein said. "Instead of being straight like my finger, over time, her toes contracted back. The ligaments from here from the shoes she was wearing started to bend her toes back, and so her foot, when she put her foot in the shoe, her toes were buckled back like this. And then the shoe would rub on the top of the toes and cause the skin to thicken and cause a corn."
The fix? A facelift for her feet.
"We did an osteotomy, which is a bone-cutting procedure on the big toe, where we cut the bone at the joint and we moved the toe in to make her big toe straight. And then, we removed a piece of bone in her contracted toes and put a bone pin in the toes so that they would heel and be straight," Dr. Weinstein said.
The results can be dramatic once bunions, hammertoes, and corns are removed. Lindsey was amazed by the transformation.
"He saved my feet!" Lindsey said. "I love my feet now. I'm able to wear heels without any pain, I'm able to stand without any issues."
Most insurance policies will cover the procedure if it is pain related, but if it's solely for cosmetic reasons plan to pay upwards of $10,000.
If you want pain-free and pretty feet, it starts with the shoes.
Dr. Weinstein's Shoe Shopping Checklist:
- Always buy shoes in the afternoon hours, as our feet tend to swell as the day goes on.
- Shop for shoes with the type of sock or stocking that you plan to wear with them.
- Measure your shoes to fit the longest toe, being sure that you have at least to thumb's width at the end of the shoe.
- Never squeeze your foot into a shoe for the sake of fashion.
- Have your foot measured each time you buy a new pair of shoes, as our foot size tends to change as we age.
- Don't buy shoes only by the size marked. Each shoe designer will fit differently.
- Never buy shoes hoping they will stretch with wear. Chances are, they won't.
- Walk around in your new shoes to be sure they fit and are comfortable.
- Always check your feet for blisters that can form from improperly fit shoes.
Photo Credit: Dr. Neal Blitz - www.BunionSurgeryNY.com