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Foot Narrowing (Cinderella Procedure)

Foot Narrowing / Foot Face-Lift

Sometimes called Cinderella surgery, this is a combination of procedures usually involving correcting the big toe joint bunion (hallux valgus) and little toe joint bunion (Tailor’s bunion). Often one or two of the toes are straightened and shortened when, for example, the 2nd toe is longer than the big toe. The foot face lift is very much concerned with the aesthetic improvement to the look of the foot. Once the post-operative swelling has resolved (3-6 months), the foot is left a little shorter and usually much narrower. Combined with the 2nd toe (and often also) the 3rd toe being shortened also (for ladies especially); fitting in fashionable shoes will now be much easier. Most of our cases report that shoes are uncomfortable with these deformities rubbing in shoes, which precludes them from wearing high-fashion shoes. Once the lumps and bumps on the sides of the foot are removed our aim for you is to be able to wear a much greater range of shoes in comfort.

Toe Corrective Surgery

For the (lesser) toe surgery straightening and / or shortening, please click on this link from our cosmeticfootsurgery website:

These deformities may or may not be painful for patients. Corns and knuckle-pad rub lesions – caused by a build-up of thickened skin over the affected joint, often associated with bursitis (inflammation of small pouches, called bursas, which lie above the small joints of the toes) - are perhaps the most noticeable and troublesome symptoms. In darker skin such as Asian or Afro Caribbean these often permanent or intractable lesions have a loss of skin pigment (depigmentation), making them more obvious. The skin in these lesions will not re-pigment, therefore they need surgically removing.




The Cinderella or “foot-facelift” surgery is only undertaken one foot at a time due to the complexity, theatre time, and recovery time required. Sometime all five toes will require surgery and safety and comfort preclude this level

of surgery on both feet. We are, however happy to perform a bunion correction on both feet at the same time e.g. hallux valgus surgery to both big toe joints, or Tailor’s bunion correction to both feet.

New Nextra Clips for Toe corrections:

This type of surgery on hammertoes has been performed since 1940. Traditionally external pins are left in the toes for up to 6-weeks. This increases infection and swelling and the risk of failure of surgery. Our new internal clips from the USA are the latest and safest design for both hammertoe and toes-shortening surgery. No special boot is required, driving after only 2-weeks is allowed. Bathing is allowed after one week. Less post-op swelling is noted and the success rate has also improved with fewer complications than traditional pinning techniques.






Cinderella Surgery:

For these procedures the 1st and 5th metatarsal bones on each side are cut and slid into the corrected position to remove the bunions and narrow the foot. The bone are fixed in the corrected position involving the use of what is called “internal fixation”, involving placing special bone screws, pins or plates in the bones to help maintain the correction and promote good bone healing. Around 10% of patient may need to have the metalwork removed at a future stage as they do sometimes move (migrate) causing irritation. Many of our patient do also have long and or hammertoe / mallet toe deformities and these can be corrected at the same time as performing the bunion surgery procedures.

We are often asked whether they will set off the x-ray machines at airports after the surgery. Our view is that there is generally not enough metalwork for this to happen and so far this has not been reported to us. Larger implants such as hip and knee replacements will set off the airport alarms. Below are some before and after pictures of the work we have undertaken on our patients.
















New ReLine Plate for Bunion Surgery

For hallux valgus surgery we are now using the new ReLine plate from the USA. This is allowing smaller incisions and less scarring, quicker return to footwear with less swelling. There is no need for post-op walker boots as the small fixation plate is very strong, and we want patients back in a trainer after two weeks. The procedure is for mild-moderate bunions only and is not suitable for severe and or unstable hallux valgus.







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