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Foot Doctors and High Heels Q&A

by Staff Writer

October 29, 2011

Bunion surgery is a frequent  and typical reason and purpose individuals come to see the foot doctors in the podiatry department at La Peer Health Systems in Beverly Hills. Although both men and women can get foot bunions, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) found that foot bunions are 9 times more frequent and typical in women than in men.The advancement of bunions is frequently credited to the continuous and extended wearing of poorly fitting footwear, which includes shoes that are restricted, tight, narrow, and have a pointed toe and/or a high heel. Bunions can also be an outcome of heredity, arthritis or polio, but these just account for a small percentage of the total amount of patients with bunions. The the majority of factors leading to bunions is faulty foot function and biomechanical imbalance of the tendons that function on the great toe.

According to AAOS, 55% of females in the United States have bunions. "Since wearing shoes that cause the toes to be squeezed together is a common factor in bunions, it explains the high prevalence of the disorder among women," said Dr. Kamran Jamshidinia, a podiatrist at La Peer.

Continually sporting high heels fuels the advancement of bunions because the limited, thin shoes put strain on the joint at the foundation of the big toe, the metatarsophalangeal (MTP). Bunions form when the normal balance of forces that is exerted on the joints and tendons of the foot is disrupted, which leads to instability in the joint and causes the deformity. "It is important for women to be aware of the fact that high heels, specifically shoes with a heel over two inches in height, can cause foot deformities. If women are knowledgeable about the cause of bunions, they will be able to make smarter footwear choices and have custom molded orthotics made to prevent the progression of these unsightly and often very painful deformities. And, if they have already started to develop bunions, recognizing them in the early stages will allow for non-surgical treatments to be more effective," said Dr. Jamshidinia.

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Published: November 16, 2011

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