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  • Bunion Pain Costs Wendy Williams the Chance to Win “Dancing with the Stars”

Ballroom dancing classes have experienced a jump in popularity in Columbus dance studios with the rise of “Dancing with the Stars” and other dancing programs on television.  Talk show host Wendy Williams, who was a competitor on the current season, tweeted a picture of her seriously beat up looking feet before she was eliminated on that night’s show!  The caption on the picture, which stated “Feet don’t fail me now!” indicates just how important foot health is in any athletic competition, especially one known for its glitzy high-heeled shoes!

Unfortunately for Wendy, her feet were apparently so painful from her bunions that she struggled with her ability to dance on the night she was eliminated.  Bunions on the middle side of each foot were located in the joint at the base of her big toe, which is a typical bunion location.  A bunion of the big toe, or hallux, is caused by “Hallux abducto valgus” which is basically when the tip of the big toe is angled in towards, and often overlaps the second toe, instead of lying straight as it should.  This inappropriate angling of the tip of the toe causes the base of the toe to protrude out from the foot more than normal.

The protuberances caused by bunions have resulted in immense pain for Wendy because of increased pressure and friction against where the shoe would normally just firmly contact the middle side of the foot.  This excessive pressure can cause the body to thicken the outer layer of skin cells as a way to protect the deeper layers of the foot.  These thickenings of the skin are called corns and calluses can cause pain.  Hammer toes, where the first joint in any of the small toes is bent abnormally, are also commonly seen as a consequence of bunions.  Hammer toes can result in increased pressure on the top of the toe and lead to more painful corns. 

There are a variety of bunion treatments as well as a variety of ways to be proactive in preventing a bunion.  Wendy Williams seems to have had a bunion removal surgery, or bunionectomy, several years ago, but has failed to take appropriate preventative measures to keep the bunion from reoccurring.  While bunionectomies can be extremely helpful for relieving the pain and other conditions caused by a bunion, it is important to take additional measures to get the best results from your surgery.  After a surgery, physical therapy and orthotics are often suggested to keep the big toe in its proper position.  For bunion prevention, before a bunion ever occurs or after bunion removal surgery, comfortable well-fitted shoes are key. 

Wendy’s tendency to wear ill-fitting, pointy high heels on a regular basis and even more so with her appearance on Dancing with the Stars may have lead to an exacerbation of her bunion pain and slight re-occurrence of her bunion.  Wendy should have contacted her podiatrist to take care of her bunions before it cost her her shot at the disco ball dancing trophy!

Please visit www.columbusfoot.com for more information or call 614-885 FEET (3338) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio in between Westerville, Worthington and Powell.

By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia

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