Monday, 19 August 2013

Hi-tech scan that shows you the perils of killer heels

TOTTERING around in towering heels could be harmful to women’s health, revolutionary technology has revealed.
The world’s first 3D scan of a female foot in a high heel shows the shocking effect so-called “killer heels” can have.

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Andy Goldberg said wearing heels forces the body weight on to the front of the foot, causing arthritis, clawed toes and painful bunions.

The £200,000 Ped-CAT machine at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, London, takes a 360-degree scan of the patient’s foot in 60 seconds – and is far more accurate than the traditional X-ray.

Mr Goldberg, a foot and ankle specialist, said: “The scanner gives up much more information. It shows the deformity caused by wearing high heels is much more complicated than we previously thought.

“With high heels, the toes are squashed inside the shoe. The more stiletto-shaped they are, the worse it is. The toes not only get squashed, but they become clawed too.

“There’s nothing wrong with being in this high-heel position temporarily – it forms a part of your normal stride. And if you wear heels for an hour or two at an evening party, it’s not a problem.

“But if you wear them for eight hours a day for years on end you will develop problems.”

Mr Goldberg said heels can cause problems for women of all ages, adding: “It’s not uncommon for me to see teenage girls in my clinic.

“They are usually accompanied by their mothers, who tell them, ‘Look, the doctor says you should be wearing sensible shoes’. But I try not to get involved with family politics too much
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high, heels, feet, injury, harmful, women, technology, scan, ankle, damage, problems
“If you have got a family history of high heel wearers and you wear them a lot, you are pretty much guaranteed to develop bunions.

“If you are not genetically predisposed, wearing high heels may accelerate bunions.

“Foot and ankle problems affect your walking and take over your life. There’s a saying that if you want to take someone’s mind off a problem, put them in tight shoes.”

A survey of patients at the hospital’s foot and ankle clinic found that 57 per cent had experienced severe pain as a result of wearing uncomfortable shoes such as high heels.

High heels have also been known to cause accidents.

In March, Carol Vorderman fell down a flight of stairs while wearing four-inch heels, suffering a broken nose as well as cuts on her forehead and left eyelid.

Carol said at the time: “I feel like a complete idiot – I really do look like I’ve done eight rounds with Muhammad Ali.”

The Loose Women star missed several weeks of work following the accident which happened as she was leaving a business meeting at an office block in central London.

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