As a health writer, I receive buckets of information from a long list of organizations and other resources. Much of it is helpful or interesting, some of it surprising. Now and again I get something outrageous.
This week’s advisory from the American Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Society falls into the latter category. The society is warning women not to run out and have cosmetic surgery performed on their feet, just so they can look better in their summer sandals and trendy high heels. I was shocked.
Women would actually consider doing this? Having surgery just so this little piggy looks cuter in peep-toe pumps?
Here are a few of the procedures that are apparently possible:
- Foot narrowing – in order to fit more comfortably into trendy high-heeled shoes.
- Toe shortening – usually to the second toe (next to the big toe) for “greater perceived appearance” in open-toed shoes.
- Toe tuck – where the little toe is made skinnier and shorter to accommodate high-heeled shoes.
These procedures carry all the risk of any surgery, including risks from general anesthesia, possibility of infections, scarring, pain and nerve injury. And we’re talking about your feet here, which carry your body’s entire weight on their 26 major bones and 30 joints (each!) and many nerves and tendons. The AOFAS position, quite sensibly, is that foot surgery is only worth the risk for a foot that isn’t functioning properly or without pain.
Here’s a thought: Instead of dropping a load of cash on a makeover for your tootsies (because insurance ain’t gonna cover the cost), spend it on a pair or two of comfy shoes that you won’t need surgery to wear – and make a donation to help kids around the world who can’t afford shoes of any kind. Toms can help you out. With every pair of their shoes that you buy, they give one pair of shoes to a child in need. Check them out …