Dr. Kim Mulvihill ReportingA dangerous trend is emerging in the world of cosmetic surgery. Doctors are cutting off parts of the foot, removing joints and trimming bones, all so female patients can fit into very fashionable high heels.
The well-heeled woman is wearing them super high and narrow. It's a trend in fashion that's leading to a disturbing trend in surgery.
Glen Pfeffer, M.D., Orthopedic Surgeon: “Women were being told by some foot practitioners that it was okay to operate on a foot to fit into a shoe.”
Doctor Glen Pfeffer is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in problems of the foot and ankle. He says many people don't understand the mechanics of the foot, and that can lead to trouble.
Glen Pfeffer, M.D: “You start shortening toes, narrowing foot, cutting off bumps. You can change the biomechanical balance of the foot and the tragedy is all of a sudden become what I call a cosmetic cripple.”
He says Brandi is a good example.
Brandi Davis, Foot Patient: “I hated my feet. A podiatrist in San Francisco assured me, made promises and just told me I would have Victoria Secret feet.”
She wanted beautiful feet so she could wear beautiful shoes. Now it's painful just to walk.
Brandi Davis: “I can't run on the treadmill or the concrete or anything like that.”
And despite her chronic pain, she's still looking forward to a sleek pair of heels. Doctor Pfeffer recommends a simpler, safer approach.
Glen Pfeffer, M.D : “Wear those shoes, just try not to wear them as much as you do. Wear them for a limited time get dropped off at the restaurant, take a taxi.”
So far, Brandi has had four very painful operations to try to fix the problem.
And remember this, three hundred thousand pounds of stress are put on a foot in just a mile of running. So you can't surgically shorten toes or narrow the foot without dramatic consequences.