Foot Exams on an Airplane?

Recently I had to make an emergency trip to my home town for a funeral. No, I wasnt in a good mood, feeling blue as you would expect. I just lost one of the most influential men in my life. I sat in my seat got comfortable, well as comfortable as you can get not being in business class. A lovely young woman sat down next to me and we found out we had a lot in common. We both graduated from University of Michigan though many years apart and got to talking about what we did.

She is a writer about to publish her first novel. We discussed the plot and characters and had a very nice chat, until she asked what I did. I told her I was a Physician and Surgeon of the Foot and Ankle, and immediately the shoes came off. Not only hers but the woman next to her and the one across the aisle. I was taken aback on how many of these women had foot problems from hammertoes to bunions, from corns and callous and everything in between. I looked down at all their shoes and you guessed it. They were all wearing pointy toed high heels.

I have nothing against high heels. They make a womans legs more shapely, etc. But they were all 4 inches high. One admitted to me she sprained her ankle twice from the stiletto she was wearing and had to have surgery after the second to fix the torn ligament in her ankle. So we talked about bunions and metatarsalgia and other associated problems that can arise from high heels. Those that are very high more than 3 inches place all the weight on the balls of the feet and the pointy one squish together all the toes and forms corns, bone spurs, bunion pain, tailors bunion pain and hammertoes.

One woman actually placed her foot on my arm rest and said why do my 3rd and 4th toes get cramps, tingling and numbness. Wishing I had a pair of gloves she had what we call a positive Moulders Sign which indicates a Neuroma. We discussed treatment options and she asked for my card. Note to self, carry more cards!

Next the flight attendant came over and wanted to know about her feet. Slipped off the shoes wearing dark hose the outline of her foot looked perfect. No bunions, hammertoes, etc. I asked what kind of shoes she wears and she replied 2 inch height maximum with custom orthotics and never has foot pain.

The moral this true story is always have more business cards with you and educate people that its not normal to have foot pain. If you have any foot or ankle pain, give Dr. Bowman a call at 713-467-8886 or online appointments and more information is available at

Category: Foot Pain

Tags: Ankle Sprains, Bone Spurs, Bunions, Callouses, Corns, foot pain, Footwear, Hammertoes, High Heels, Metatarsalgia, Neuromas, Orthotics, Tailor Bunions, Women's Feet