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Body Talk - 2nd March 2010

My guest this evening was Mr Maan Taba, one of the consultant orthopaedic surgeons at Spire Hartswood Hospital. He specialises in treating problems of the foot and ankle and he was talking about the new techniques available in treating painful foot conditions such as bunions, hammer toes and plantar fascitis, or flat feet.

25% of the bones in our bodoies are in the feet. The average person will walk over 10,ooo miles in their lifetime, that's over 4 times round the world! Think there is also no surprise in the fact that women have four times as many foot problems as men.

The best advice given to avoid foot problems is to look after your feet. Wear shoes that fit properly and avoid wearing shoes that are too tight or too high. It isn't always better to go without shoes at all, a common misconception. It is always betters to wear a small heel, avoiding shoes like flip flops. This is because the feet do need a little support and it can help to alleviate the uncomfortable condition of flat feet which is a collapsing of the inside of the foot. The heel shouldn't be too high though, as one of our callers pointed out, her mother has always worn heels which means that she can't wear flat shoes now as the hamstrings have shortened too much.

New treatments mean that operations can be performed under local anaesthetic, which means less risk of bleeding and scars, and a speedier return to normal activities. There is also a new gait scanner at Hartswood which means that any abnormalities in the way you walk can be detected easily.


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