Cinderella Surgery – Vanity of the Feet

In Foot Facts by Alnoor Ladhani, Chiropodist

A trend which has been gaining in popularity helps women fit into the shoes of their dreams, much like Cinderella and her glass slipper. However, instead of the perfect shoes fitting like magic, women in the U.S. and the U.K. are changing themselves to fit the shoes. They’re doing this by undergoing something called Cinderella surgery.

What is Cinderella Surgery?

Society’s obsession with perfection has now extended to the feet.  Cinderella surgery is a procedure where a patient’s toes are made longer, shorter, or straighter for the express purpose of being able to fit more comfortably into certain shoes. Usually shoes with open toes, or shoes with high heels, are the desired footwear.

Cinderella Surgery

More and more, in many countries, designer shoes with high heels are associated with fashion, wealth, confidence, glamour, sex-appeal, and status, which may explain why women are going under the knife just to fit into these kinds of shoes better.

Types of Procedures

There are a few different types of Cinderella surgeries that doctors may perform when women don’t like their feet and want to take drastic measures to “fix” them:

  • Making toes longer.
  • Making toes shorter.
  • Injecting fat into the soles and heel of the foot — this helps make walking in uncomfortable shoes more comfortable. This is not a permanent solution, however, as the fat eventually becomes displaced.
  • Injecting Botox into the feet to help with foot fungus and excessive sweating of the feet.

Risks of Surgery

Having surgery, even for just cosmetic reasons, is not a decision that should be taken lightly. There are complications associated with any procedure that involves going under the knife. Cinderella surgery in particular involves invasive cutting and sawing of bones in the foot, so the risks are particularly high. These include indefinite foot pain, infection, restricted joint movement, and even blood clots, which can be life-threatening. In addition to the risks, recovery from the surgery is long – it can take 6 to 8 weeks at least, and the patient would need to use crutches for a large chunk of that time.

Proper, healthy foot function is a process that involves all of the different parts of the foot working together. The foot is an intricate body part that has a huge role in our ability to walk, run, and balance.

Those considering surgery should also be warned that it can actually do more harm than good. Proper, healthy foot function is a process that involves all of the different parts of the foot working together. The foot is an intricate body part that has a huge role in our ability to walk, run, and balance. Paying more attention to form rather than function is not a sound idea, as this can result in constant pain, including problems beyond the toes, such as with the ankles and knees. The human body is a system, and those considering drastic surgery need to remember the role their feet play in that system as a whole.

Alternatives to Surgery

For health and safety reasons, you should consider alternatives to surgery and see if they might work for you before you decide to resort to drastic measures. Here are a few of the options:

  • Get rid of any corns or calluses that might be making it hard to walk in fashionable, uncomfortable shoes.
  • Wear more comfortable shoes. There are plenty of stylish options that will not wreck your feet or cause pain.
  • Orthotics, or foot orthoses, is the process of using devices to help improve the function of your feet. Custom-made shoe inserts or foot beds that help support the foot are good examples. Slipping these into your shoes can help realign the foot joints so walking isn’t painful.
  • Bunion surgery is a last resort if any of the above methods don’t work.

Surgery is never the only option. There are non-invasive, safer ways to make walking in high-heels and fashionable designer shoes more comfortable. Don’t forget that there are also plenty of stylish, designer footwear options that your feet will fit into comfortably with no changes.