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Dr. Oz discusses dangers of high heels and bunion surgery

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Dr. Oz said disfiguring bunions will affect over 50 percent of women, but warned against the dangers of bunion surgery on the Dec. 31 episode of the Dr. Oz Show. (This episode originally aired Oct. 31.)

“Today we're talking about a painful and often crippling condition that could affect more than half of you at some point in your life,” said Dr. Oz. “Many of you will turn to surgery, but will surgery cause more problems than the bunions themselves?”

Dr. Oz's guest was "People's Court" judge Marilyn Milian, who had bunion surgery eight weeks before coming on Dr. Oz's show.

"I was screaming in excruciating pain [after the surgery]," said Milian, who wore a cast on her right foot. "The aftermath is very, very, very, very painful and it's a slow recovery."

Dr. Oz said recovery from bunion surgery typically takes six to eight weeks, and said you shouldn't get surgery simply because you don't like how your feet look.

Dr. Oz said the risk factors for developing bunions include the following:

  • You wear high heels with a narrow toe box.
  • Family history.
  • Arthritis.

Bunion surgery is painful because it often requires that toe bones be broken and shaved down and inserted with a metal pin. To avoid developing bunions in the first place, Dr. Oz suggested the following:

  1. Avoid very high heels with a pointed toe box.
  2. Use padded inserts when wearing heels.
  3. Use bunion pads to cushion the space between the big toe and the shoe.
  4. Do toe exercises. Try picking up a golf ball with your toes. The constant gripping increases flexibility and strengthens toes.


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