HOUSTON - Many women love sexy shoes, but an embarrassing foot condition can keep them off their feet.
One Houston doctor said a new procedure can correct the painful problem that is more than just aesthetic.
Patient Elma Ruiz told KPRC Channel 2, "I would have to be changing shoes constantly and really there was no comfortable shoe to wear."
It's believed about 10-20 percent of American suffer from a condition called hammertoe.
Podiatrist Dr. Robert Moore III of Moore Foot and Ankle Specialists in Houston said toe pads, cortisone shots and anti-inflammatory medications can bring some relief, but many end up turning to surgical correction.
Traditionally, wire pins are inserted through the bones.
Dr. Moore explained, "The pin would stick out the top and then we'd pull these pins out after surgery. Very medieval!"
A new procedure uses an implant rather than those metal wires to permanently straighten the joint.
Dr. Moore added, "These are made out of cortical bone and the TENFUSE actually stays in the bone marrow, keeps the toes straight, but being non-metallic will eventually incorporate in the bone and will not have to be removed."
New mom Cindy Palos has been pleasantly surprised by her surgery after hearing horror stories of hammertoe corrections.
She told Channel 2, "It was fantastic! Better than I expected."
The TENFUSE® PIP Sterile Allograft implants allow patients like Cindy to get back on their feet in half the time.
Cindy said, "The pain is gone. I'm able to wear heels now, but I'm still trying to take it easy so I ensure recovery time is sped up."
Dr. Moore added that because hammertoe is not just an aesthetic problem, the surgical correction is often covered by insurance.
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