What’s the first thing that came to mind when you saw the word “cosmetic” in the title? Was it maybe breast implants or a face lift, tummy tuck or liposuction? These are the traditional uses of the word cosmetic and refer to correcting problems in people, who in their opinion, need to look better in order to feel better. Over the years it has become popular for people who can afford to undergo these same surgeries to enlarge their breasts, tighten the skin of their face to reduce wrinkles, and even remove fat from areas considered to be unsightly.
In the foot people can have unsightly problems and what’s worse pain. A bunion is a lump on the inside of the foot behind the big toe. The size can vary and the toe can begin to move closer to and even under the 2nd toe. When the smaller toes are buckled that is a hammertoe. Here’s the key: because we wear shoes, bunions and hammertoes hurt much sooner than if we went barefoot all the time. Let me make this perfectly clear, wearing shoes does not cause the deformity, but wearing shoes does make a deformity hurt sooner than it otherwise would.
Bunion and hammertoe surgery can be cosmetic, which in my opinion means the deformity will look better after corrected so that you feel better since pain will be gone. That’s a little bit different from other forms of cosmetic surgery. When I perform bunion surgery or hammertoe surgery I always keep in mind the fact that you will be walking on the end result for years to come. Because the bunion and hammertoe develop in an unstable foot I have to make sure the problem does not return. Face lifts, tummy tucks, or breast augmentation have their long term considerations, but honestly you will not be walking, hiking, or running on these parts of your body.
There are people who want to fit into those 4” spiked heels at any cost. They want their wide foot narrowed and long toe shortened. I’m not talking about business executives who have to maintain a specific style of dress in order to advance their career and suffer horrible pain in these shoes. I’m talking about people who would otherwise have no pain, but insist on wearing these heels for social purposes. I caution those people who do not have pain! Foot surgery can result in scar within the joint leading to stiffness and arthritis. There is no true preventive surgery for arthritis.
One final word. Recently a Beverly Hills Podiatrist coined the term “Cinderella Surgery” for correcting a bunion, long 2nd toe, and bunionette (on the outside of the foot) so that women can wear their high heels. He did a very nice piece on the television show, The Doctors. My problem is this: I always say, feet are like snowflakes no two are alike, well here is a podiatrist telling women he can perform the same procedures on their feet in every case so they can walk immediately after surgery and their feet will fit into their stilettos. That is just not possible without making some sacrifices. To read about these sacrifices that might be made check back every few days for my new articles on cosmetic bunion surgery and cosmetic hammertoe surgery.