Orthopedics Magazine Articles
Volume One, Issue Two

Getting better and better
Increased patient satisfaction drives TCO 2008 expansion

Fast and convenient care
AccessORTHO offers urgent, non-emergency orthopedic care

Healing together
Individual and group care improves recovery after joint replacement

If the shoe fits
Feet bothering you? Your footwear may to be blame

Preventing recurrent disc herniations
Twin Cities Orthopedics spine surgeons pioneer technique - annular disc repair

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If the shoe fits

Feet bothering you? Your footwear may to be blame

One in six Americans has some sort of foot disorder, and more than a third find the problem serious enough to see a doctor. You might be surprised to learn one of the major culprits is improper footwear. Many common aches and pains can be prevented or even corrected with a little extra care when shopping.

It’s no secret that wearing poorly fitting shoes or improper footwear for a particular sport can seriously damage your feet, causing painful bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, and other distressing maladies. It’s estimated that the cost of foot surgery to correct problems from tight fitting shoes is $2 billion a year or $3.5 billion, if you include time off from work for the surgery and recovery.

Who is at risk?
A woman’s risk of foot injury is a good deal higher than a man’s — and may increase with the heel height and tightness of her shoes. A study conducted by the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society found women are nine times more likely to develop a foot problem because of improperly fitting shoes than men. The report notes that nine out of 10 women wear shoes that are too small for their feet, eight out of 10 women say their shoes are painful, and more than seven out of 10 women have developed a bunion, hammertoe, or other painful foot deformity. Nine out of 10 women attribute their foot deformities to tight shoes, according to research.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends that women do not wear shoes with heels higher than 2 1/4 inches. They also recommend avoiding high-heeled shoes with pointed, narrow toe boxes that crowd the toes and force them into an unnatural,triangular shape. As heel height increases, the weight on the ball of the foot may double, placing greater pressure on the forefoot as it is forced into the pointed toe box.

Those individuals who participate in sports should keep in mind that proper-fitting sports shoes can enhance performance and prevent injuries. Shin splints — pain in the front of the tibia — is one injury typically caused by excess stress from over training, changing to a hard running surface, or wearing poorly fitting athletic shoes. If not taken care of, this injury can progress into a stress fracture, which is a more painful and debilitating injury.

Continue reading for Shoe Shopping Guidelines >>