Here’s a question I get pretty often: why feet? And I answer, because I love feet. And usually I’ll add a comment about how it’s a good thing I’m not a gastroenterologist or a urologist or something along those lines.
Here’s an interesting story about one Sarah Jessica Parker. You remember all those billboards featuring the star of Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Honeymoon in Vegas and that TV show that my wife watched obsessively with her exposed toes in high-heeled shoes. All that time we wondered what exactly were those expensive, and not so expensive pedal torture devices doing to her toes, potentially causing bunions, hammertoes, tendonitis and other foot and ankle pain? Well, it turns out so does she, and so do my NYC podiatry patients.
In an article in Radar, Sarah blamed her foot maladies on “cheap shoes”, and was told her feet are doing things they should not be doing. So is she another victim of high fashion?
As we have said many times in the past, there are many factors that lead to the formation of bunions, hammertoes, neuromas and heel pain. Most important among those is the one factor that cannot be controlled (yet): DNA. Yes, Sarah Jessica, it’s in your genes, and not the expensive designer kind. Our DNA is the blueprint that makes us who we are: eye color, body shape, strength, inheritance of disease. We can manipulate certain manifestations of our genetics with colored contacts, exercise, and lifestyle, but ultimately, as has been confirmed in scientific research, bunions are inherited in greater than 90% of cases. High heels may accelerate the progression, and will certainly make the deformity more symptomatic. But short of foot binding, it’s rather difficult to give one’s self a bunion, even in a cheap shoe. Multiple ankle sprains will create ankle instability, and a really tight shoe may accelerate the formation of a hammertoe, and will also make those nasty corns appear more quickly. But let’s not blame it all on the high heels - cheap or not. I see more problems from flat flats, than from heels. There are even conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and other forms of foot and ankle tendonitis that are relieved by the use of high heels.
So, SJP, it’s not all the shoes. Just the same, maybe it’s time to switch to something sensible, perhaps with a custom orthotic?
See you in the office.
Dr. Ernest L. Isaacson
You Might Also Enjoy...
Ok kids time for a little word association. Tell me the first thing you think of when I say - plantar fasciitis. If it starts with an F no need to articulate the sentiment, but you might want to read on.
Shocking, yet not surprising, the year is coming to a close and it’s already time to shop bargains on turkey and squash.
It’s relatively late at night in the city as I write this, and many of my dear Manhattan podiatry patients may be wondering what it is I’m doing at this late hour, other than filling the annals of this most holy and sacred blog with more consecrated verbia
Summer’s over now kids, although if you’re like me summer is just winter with heat. Still, I do get a little pit in my stomach as Labor Day looms large on the calendar and the waning days of summer transform into the crisp breezes of autumn, and other line
It’s an attention grabbing title isn’t it? Well sorry kids it’s a bit of a misnomer. It’s a common question, but no there actually isn’t a laser procedure for bunion correction- not as far as I know and not in this decade.