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Cosmetic foot surgery in the news

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Old 04-23-2004, 07:54 AM   #16
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 61
apegirl HB User
Re: Cosmetic foot surgery in the news

Hi Ann. I don't know if dance contributed to my bunions or (believe it or not) helped. My parents placed me in ballet class when I was four because of my totally flat feet. I have a photo of me in my ballet shoes at age 7, and my ankles are rolled in and I'm practically standing on the insides of my feet. Many years of ballet later, my ankles and calves grew strong enough to hold my feet in a somewhat normal position, but it was always an effort, not to say tiring. My balance has always been poor. I was put in pointe for a few years, but I stopped that eventually. I'm sure they did nothing good for my bunions. I left dance alone until my teens, when I started modern in bare feet. Contributed I'm sure, but it kept the compensatory muscles strong. Then was tap (not good) and about ten years ago I started ballroom dance (in 2" heels). That was when I was diagnosed with bunions and arthritis (my 30s), although I had had pain since my teens. I think all and all it was a long, gradual process, and in my opinion I would have landed here eventually, dance or no. I have probably worn heels for less than 5% of my waking life. (Scratch that - 2%) Genetics and gravity got me.

I had two bunion surgeries in 2001/2002 that were done poorly and I had to change doctors to get satisfaction (haven't done much dancing or anything since then). I had a Lapidus procedure on my right last month, which my ortho said should have been done in the first place. Now that my metatarsal is fused, I don't think there'll be any be any more problems. We will wait and see what we should do next.

I will probably never dance ballroom again, which I really regret because I love it, but I don't want to cause any further damage. It really is impossible to dance in flats because it puts the balance all off (not to mention makes me too short for most partners). Ironically, my feet are probably more stable now than they've been my entire life and could withstand the abuse. Oh well.

Thought: did women start wearing heels two millenia ago so they could look men in the eye and not feel "smaller"?

Anyway, thanks for asking and sorry I've gone on so. As I said, cause and effect are always fascinating to me.


Last edited by apegirl; 04-23-2004 at 08:18 AM.

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Old 04-23-2004, 08:56 AM   #17
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 46
piggy22 HB User
Re: Cosmetic foot surgery in the news

first of all, i totally agree that heels are painful/bad for you, i don't want anyone who reads this post to think i'm encouraging them to wear heels or anything....but i found this blurb about bunions on my doctor's website, and thought it was interesting...and it did confirm what i had kind of suspected...because first of all, i hardly ever wear/wore heels (because i'm so tall) - i spend about 90% of my time in sneakers and i STILL got bunions! my sister, on the hand, wears heels all the time, and her feet still look perfect! so unless my sneakers were very wrongly made, it's not very convincing that shoes are the only contributors to this problem... i think it's when those of us pre-disposed to bunions start wearing heels it just accelerates the process... fyi- my doctor told me that the chance of this recurring after my surgery is close to nil...i guess it depends on how far up the foot they make the cut.. just wondering - what did other people's doctors say about bunion recurrence?

Cause of Bunion Deformity

Bunions form when the normal balance of forces that is exerted on the joints and tendons of the foot becomes disrupted. This can lead to instability in the joint and cause the deformity., our shoes, or other sources.

Although bunions tend to run in families, it is the foot type that is passed down-not the bunion. Parents who suffer from poor foot mechanics can pass their problematic foot type on to their children, who, in turn, are also prone to developing bunions. The abnormal functioning caused by this faulty foot development can lead to pressure being exerted on and within the foot, often resulting in bone and joint deformities such as bunions and hammertoes.

Shoes are often blamed for creating these problems. This, however, is inaccurate. It has been noted that primitive tribes where going barefoot is the norm will also develop bunions. Bunions develop from abnormal foot structure and mechanics (e.g. excessive pronation), which place an undue load on the 1st metatarsal. They are brought about by years of abnormal motion and pressure. They are, therefore, a symptom of faulty foot development and are usually caused by the way we walk and our inherited foot type. This leads to stretching of supporting soft tissue structures such as joint capsules and ligaments with the end result being gradual deviation of the 1st metatarsal. As the deformity increases, there is an abnormal pull of certain tendons, which leads to the drifting of the great toe toward the 2nd toe. At this stage, there is also adaptation of the joint itself that occurs.

Old 04-23-2004, 11:38 AM   #18
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: KANSAS
Posts: 185
rileyroe HB User
Re: Cosmetic foot surgery in the news

This is such an interesting thread! There is NO WAY I would go through this just for nicer looking feet! It is a benefit of the surgery, but would have never done it if I wasn't in constant pain!!

My doctor told me that the chance of my bunions reforming are extremely slim. He actually said, there is a 99% chance that they will never come back, no matter what type of shoes I wear.

I had my double bunionectomy on Jan 8th, and am starting to feel pretty good. I still have a little pain and swelling at times, but it isn't too bad at all. I don't have any problems getting around, and have even wore heels a couple times, for a short time.
I did go to the zoo a few days ago, and after about 4 hours of walking in my tennis shoes, my feet were pretty swollen and sore. I wonder if I am going to be able to play softball this summer.....I don't know if I could really run yet....I haven't tried because I am still too scared! I hope you all are healing well!


Old 05-15-2005, 09:08 AM   #19
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1
elphie HB User
Question Re: Cosmetic foot surgery in the news

Hi BigBadFeet and everyone,
I'm new to these boards and am just at the research stage but I have to say
something and hope that someone can help. I've got arthritic changes in my feet that look just like the "before" pictures on the websites of surgeons who are famous for fixing these problems. The bunions, hammertoes and heel spurs hurt like crazy and have for several years after a lifetime of dancing on them through injury, like most dance teachers. I've been unable to find shoes that fit, including my own from last year, can't walk far and can't work out because I trip over my twisted pinkie toes. When I found the website of one of the two most famous NYC surgeons, I actually cried. I had no idea these things could be fixed! I contacted the doctor and he emailed me back immediately with the name of a collegue in Boston to take pictures of my feet and do an initial exam. I did that, then called the NY office. They were great. They gave me an appointment and the nurse said the doctor would first speak to the local doctor and call me at home. He called me as promised, and asked what he could do for me. I told him my situation and, suddenly, it all changed. He said he couldn't help me if I had painful feet and I should have surgery done by my local doctor who was "every bit as qualified" as he was. I asked him why, and again said that my feet were exactly like the ones on his website that he's famous for repairing. And he said to me, in an irritated tone, "the people on my website didn't have any pain, that was just cosmetic." Now, am I to believe that bunions, hammertoes and corns don't hurt? Not only that, but the doctor's whole attitude changed. He became sarcastic, verging on nasty. Can anyone tell me why I was rejected for saying my feet hurt? There's one other "famous" doctor in NYC and I'm going to try her, next. But I wish I could find a doctor in the Boston area who isn't too conservative to fix my feet. I don't need to wear stiletto heels or anything, but it would be great to be able to walk in this point, even Uggs hurt. Apologies for the long post, but I needed to tell someone! Can anyone please, please recommend a surgeon in Boston and explain to me what was up with the "famous"doctor in NY?

Old 05-15-2005, 09:19 AM   #20
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 782
susieblueyes HB User
Re: Cosmetic foot surgery in the news

Wow, I have never heard of such a thing! That sounds pretty crazy to me.Usually any of the Doctors that I have ever dealt with only perform surgery if there is pain. I would never have foot surgery for cosmetic reasons.I have been through many foot surgeries and it is very painful and the recovery process is very long.Sorry I can't help you with a local Doctor for you. Good luck with finding a Doctor that can help you! If I can help in any other way please feel free to ask I hope you feel better.

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