Worried About Your Wide Feet? Don’t Be!

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Wide Feet -- Not a Worry

Concerned that your feet are extraordinarily wide? Don’t be. Just appreciate them the way they are and do not worry about how to make your feet smaller.

You’ll be glad to know that wide feet are rarely a serious problem. Most wide foot problems can be resolved by ignoring other people’s aesthetic judgments and choosing footwear that’s both attractive and sensible. And there are real solutions for the occasional real problems that are actually related to extra-wide feet.

What causes wide feet?

Here are the factors that are usually responsible for wide feet.

  • Genetics. Thank (or blame) your ancestors. You’re just born that way.
  • Your feet are flat. Feet with collapsed arches are naturally wider.
  • Age. The natural attrition of weight-bearing over time has widened your feet.
  • Foot deformities, such as a bunions, calluses, or hammertoes, can widen your feet. (A bunion is a lateral protrusion caused by a misalignment of the joint at the base of your big toe.) Treatment is available for all these conditions.
  • Edema. That’s the medical term for swelling. Swollen feet are usually related to certain medications, specific health conditions, trauma, or conditions that cause fluid retention. When the condition is successfully treated, the edema resolves, and the foot narrows.
  • Pregnancy. One of the side effects of giving birth is a widening of the mother’s feet. This is caused by the hormone relaxin, which is released by the placenta just before delivery. Relaxin is aptly named. It relaxes the ligaments around the pelvis, in order to ease the baby’s departure. Unfortunately, relaxin also loosens up ligaments throughout the mother’s entire body, including the ligaments in her feet. (hormone.org link)

What problems do wide feet cause?

In and of themselves, wide feet are not often a problem, so a fix of the foot itself isn’t usually necessary.

Is cosmetic wide feet surgery for you?

In the Cinderella movie, Disney left out the grimmest part of the original story from the Brothers Grimm. That’s where the wicked stepmother, trying to make the slipper fit her daughters’ feet, literally hacks off parts of those feet. As you’ll recall, that drastic measure didn’t work and it did not end well for anyone except Cinderella.

Cosmetic foot surgery to narrow a patient’s feet (sometimes called “Cinderella Surgery”) is somewhat of a fad, but experts warn against it.

The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons advises podiatric surgery only to restore function and/or relieve pain and we at UFAI strongly support that assertion.

We are a group of highly skilled surgeons and even we believe you want to avoid surgery whenever possible.  Foot pain should be your first guide when deciding to undergo it.

And cosmetic foot surgery is not likely to meet many patient’s expectations. Such procedures can leave an unsightly scar and could result in unnecessary chronic pain.

If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t wear it!

Wide Feet - Not A Worry

This is the best advice to follow. Even though it seems like a commonsense approach, many people do not follow it for the sake of fashion. We believe this is a mistake.

Most problems related to wide feet are caused by poorly fitting footwear. And most of those ill-fitting shoes are chosen to adhere to fashion trends or to avoid what we imagine other people are thinking about our feet. It will help when we realize that other people are very rarely thinking about our feet.

Anyway, no matter what other people might be thinking, there’s absolutely nothing wrong or abnormal about your wide feet, as long as the do not cause pain. So, embrace your wide feet (that’s a metaphor, unless you’re extremely limber). 🙂

Why choose University Foot and Ankle Institute for your foot and ankle care?

The physicians of University Foot and Ankle Institute have decades of successful experience diagnosing and treating toenail fungus. Our nationally recognized foot and ankle specialists offer the most advanced podiatric care and the highest success rates in the nation. We are leaders in the research and treatment of all foot and ankle conditions.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (877) 736-6001 or visit us here to make an appointment online.

Dr. Avanti Redkar, DPM

Dr. Avanti Redkar, DPM

Dr. Avanti Redkar is board certified in podiatric medicine and joined University Foot and Ankle Institute under a fellowship in sports medicine and ankle reconstruction. She attended podiatry school at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine and went on to complete her surgical residency at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip, New York, where she was trained in foot and rearfoot surgery, wound care, and hyperbaric medicine.

Dr. Redkar specializes in foot and ankle pathology and is available for consult at our Mid-Wilshire Los Angeles and Beverly Hills locations.
Dr. Avanti Redkar, DPM

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