High heels don't have to be hell - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

High heels don't have to be hell

Some women are willing to endure serious pain for the perfect pair of stilettos. Some women are willing to endure serious pain for the perfect pair of stilettos.
Dr. Marlah Mardis used to wear heels all the time. Dr. Marlah Mardis used to wear heels all the time.
Dr. Nathan Lucas, a podiatrist, injects collagen into the balls of the feet to rebuild tissue loss and pump up the padding. Dr. Nathan Lucas, a podiatrist, injects collagen into the balls of the feet to rebuild tissue loss and pump up the padding.

(WMC-TV) – Some women are willing to endure serious pain for the perfect pair of stilettos…but maybe a foot lift is the answer.

They may be pretty, but the pain that comes with some high heels can be excruciating!

For a rare look of what's inside those heels, we asked a podiatrist to take an x-ray of the foot with and without heels.

The x-ray revealed nails and screws pressing into the foot!

"I found one day that I put my foot on the floor, and it felt like I was walking on a rock. And it was extremely painful," said Dr. Marlah Mardis, who used to wear heels all the time.

"You know, women we love our heels and the way we look," said Mardis.

But over time, her fashion choices took a toll on her feet.  Too much pressure on the ball of her foot displaced the natural fat pad.

"That extra cushion that I needed to give me the comfort to just to stand up and even just take a shower," Mardis explained.

In a recent survey, 42 percent of women say they wear shoes that hurt.  And 73 percent admitted to already having a shoe related foot issue like bunions, corns, calluses or hammertoes.

A doctor herself, Mardis turned to another doctor for help, and a popular cosmetic procedure typically reserved for your face!

"Often times women will come in, and sometimes men, because they feel as if they're walking on bone," said Dr. Nathan Lucas, a podiatrist.  "And so what we do, we add volume to that area that has decreased fat pad," he added.

The collagen injection goes into the balls of the feet to rebuild tissue loss and pump up the padding.

Costs start at $1,200, and insurance won't pay for it.

Mardis says it's worth it - and she's not alone!

"We've done several hundred of the procedures here in the office," said Lucas.

Side effects include a little redness and soreness for a day or so.  Short time discomfort, to get back in those perfect pumps.

"It was like I could definitely tell that there was a pillow-like sensation under the foot, the bottom of my foot," Mardis said.

Doctors say women should limit their time in heels.  But if you're simply addicted to the way a good heel makes you look, doctors advise you wear shorter heels under two inches, and they recommend choosing chunkier, wider heels versus a thin heel.

Doctors say with any procedure, there's always a risk of infection.  But Dr. Lucas says most patients resume their regular activities the next day.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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