You have to love Drudge. He has the following link headline: “Women having parts of their toes lopped off to fit into latest shoe fashions…” When one actually reads the story, one finds that “the parts” are bunions and the like.

If Shoe Won’t Fit, Fix the Foot? Popular Surgery Raises Concern
Days after her daughter’s engagement a year ago, Sheree Reese went to her doctor and said that she would do almost anything to wear stilettos again.

“I was not going to walk down the aisle in sneakers,” said Dr. Reese, a 60-year-old professor of speech pathology at Kean University in Union, N.J. She had been forced to give up wearing her collection of high-end, high-heeled shoes because they caused searing pain.

So Dr. Reese, like a growing number of American women, put her foot under the knife. The objective was to remove a bunion, a swelling of the big-toe joint, but the results were disastrous. “The pain spread to my other toes and never went away,” she said. “Suddenly, I couldn’t walk in anything. My foot, metaphorically, died.”

With vanity always in fashion and shoes reaching iconic cultural status, women are having parts of their toes lopped off to fit into the latest Manolo Blahniks or Jimmy Choos. Cheerful how-to stories about these operations have appeared in women’s magazines and major newspapers and on television news programs.

But the stories rarely note the perils of the procedures. For the sake of better “toe cleavage,” as it is known to the fashion-conscious, women are risking permanent disability, according to many orthopedists and podiatrists.

“It’s a scary trend,” said Dr. Rock Positano, director of the nonoperative foot and ankle service at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. Dr. Positano said that his waiting room is increasingly filled with women hobbled by failed cosmetic foot procedures, those done solely to improve the appearance of the foot or help patients fit into fashionable shoes.

More than half of the 175 members of the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society who responded to a recent survey by the group said that they had treated patients with problems resulting from cosmetic foot surgery. The society will soon issue a statement condemning the procedures, said Rich Cantrall, its executive director.

Indeed, one wonders why NYT would devote column inches to this. (Not to mention the myriad apparent problems with their survey methodology.)

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Meezer says:

    How do you teach your children that “it’s what is inside tht counts” when you cut off perfectly functional parts of your body so you can wear high heels?

    I’ll bet these same women think foot binding was a barbaric, horrific custom. Done by barbarians.

  2. Those broads are stupid. I’d much rather wear combat boots.

    Jennifer Martinez sends

  3. Kathy K says:

    I’m with Jennifer except that I prefer sneakers.