Many women are no longer turning to Dr. Scholl's and other feet aids to save them from foot pain.
New research suggests that women are willing to have surgery for their foot pain rather than give up their prized shoe collections. Charmaine Gumbs is one of them.
Gumbs, a self-proclaimed high-heel shoe fanatic said that the ball of her foot was aching with pain when she wore her favorite pair of pumps. She chose to fix her toes rather than say goodbye to her cherished designer shoes.
“It burns and it’s like fire,” Gumbs said. “I have my New Year’s Eve Jimmy Choos that I have not put on my foot yet because I am afraid of them…that heel.”
Jennifer Pyron, a 27-year-old from New York City had to give up wearing her favorite summer sandals because the sweat from her feet was ruining her shoes.
“A lot of people have the problem, especially women that want to wear great shoes,” said Dr. Suzanne Levine, a podiatrist at the Institute Beaute in New York City who treated both Pyron and Gumbs. “They [women] don’t want their shoes ruined. It really is quite a problem.”
Dr. Levine relieved Gumbs pain by injecting a biodegradable cushion into her foot that is similar to filler often used to fix smile lines. The cushioning is expected to last for at least nine months.
Dr. Levine also fixed Pyron’s problem by using Botox in her foot to lessen sweating.
Gumbs said that she doesn’t regret choosing cosmetic surgery for her foot pain since she can’t go without her heels. A week after her procedure, Gumbs was still pain-free.
“I feel not so frightened by my shoes anymore because I love them,” Gumbs said. “I look forward to wearing them in comfort, not in agony.”
Pyron also experienced the same relief from her foot procedure.
“Once it kicked in I totally noticed a difference,” Pyron said.
Although these methods provided a solution to their pain, many doctors feel that cosmetic surgery is not worth it to save a pair of shoes.
“I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with plastic surgery,” said Dr. David Levine, Assistant Attending Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City (and no relation to Dr. Suzanne Levine). “I have no problem if someone wants to change their nose, or change their boobs. But you don’t walk on your boobs.”