The Real Downside of Cinderella Surgeries

Fitting into shoes like these is not a good reason to have surgeryA while back, the news cycle was obsessed with discussing Cinderella surgeries—foot operations that women went through purely for cosmetic reasons, in order to fit into high-heeled shoes. At the time, I shared my thoughts on the trend at some length, but, to summarize, I think these types of procedures are a bad plan.

In case you disagreed with me at the time, let me share this story I came across in an Australian newspaper (I guess this brilliant idea has spread to the Southern hemisphere now, too!)

Lia Onoroti approached her doctor with a picture of her $2500 YSL boots, asking him to surgically repair her hammertoes to the point that she could wear those shoes. Although her doctor promised she’d be wearing those shoes in no time, Ms. Onorati ended up contracting an infection after two unsuccessful surgeries; three of her toes had to be amputated.

Of course, all of this information is part of an on-going lawsuit, and the physician’s side of the story has not yet been revealed. The message for me, however, goes well beyond the issue of fault to look at the true underlying problem.

Hammertoes are a real issue for some men and women, and can and should be treated, either surgically or otherwise, depending on the severity of the condition and/or how much pain someone is experiencing.

The goal of treatment, however, should never be to fit into a pair of shoes that could cause you to experience the same problem all over again. When ever you treat foot, toe or ankle problems, your goal should be to get rid of pain and be able to walk, run and live your life in comfort.

As a Houston podiatrist, that is the resolution I strive to give to all of my patients and I hope that it continues to be the goal of most doctors, both in the U.S. and overseas.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.