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Do High Heels Actually Cause Bunions?

When the joint at the base of the big toe is misaligned and causes a bulge to form on the side of the foot, you are dealing with a bunion. Often painful, unsightly and uncomfortable, bunions are a very common problem affecting 10-25% of the population. Although anyone can get a  bunion, women are at far greater risk than men. Now on to the key question: Do high heels cause bunions?

Despite their prevalence, their cause is not well understood. Contrary to popular opinion, they are not caused by high heeled, tight fitting or pointy shoes.  Most often bunions are caused by a genetic defective mechanical structure of the foot.  Most people who suffer from bunions will experience a bony bump at the base of the big toe. This bump can become swollen and painful and make walking difficult. The pain and mobility problems can be made much worse by badly fitting shoes. Tight shoes that put pressure on the toes and forefoot (like high heeled shoes) can increase inflammation, swelling and pain. In the worst situations, the mal aligned joint will cause degenerative joint disease – osteoarthritis

To properly diagnose the problem and determine a course of treatment, a full examination should be carried out by a podiatrist. Surgical procedures have evolved and improved quickly and we are now at a point where, in most cases where surgery is required, patients are immediately able to stand and bear weight after the procedure. They are back into shoes in three weeks and, in most cases, are resuming their regular physical activity by five weeks.

The technique we employ in all but the most severe cases, is the Tricorrectional Bunionectomy (TCB) procedure. TCB is unique in the way it permanently corrects the misaligned bunion joint and provides a stable shifting of the bone with screw fixation thereby preventing a recurrence of the bunion.

In conclusion, wearing high heeled shoes will not cause you to get a bunion. If you already have a bunion (which is an inherited genetic condition), or the beginnings of one, high heeled shoes may well increase the swelling, pain and difficulty walking. If you suspect you are dealing with a bunion, please contact us today for a consultation at our new Vancouver Podiatry clinic in Kerrisdale. No referral is necessary.


Published on:November 20, 2017
Posted in Uncategorized by Roy Mathews

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