Beauty knows no pain - a mantra that most women will know well, particularly if they wear high heels often. But it turns out that foot pain can be remedied rather simply. If you're willing to cut a toe off, that is.
A recent report by Fox News suggests that there is a growing demand amongst women to "surgically alter" their feet so that they can slip into a pair of Cinderella heels.
The American Podiatric Medical Association claims that a whopping 87 percent of women who wear sky-high heels suffer some kind of damage and since high heels don't seem to be going out of fashion, it looks like something else will have to give.
Shortening toes for a better fit and having collagen injections in the ball of the foot for better cushioning are two of the most common procedures that women are forking out thousands of dollars for.
Susan Deming is one such woman who has recently had a toe shortened so that she can wear heels again after years of having to avoid them due to the pain they caused her. After cutting off about a centimetre from her second toe on her left foot Deming hopes she will be able to wear heels once again.
"I've never felt this good about something I've done. If it's vain, it's vain," she told Fox News.
Dr Nathan Lucas, a podiatrist in Memphis, Tennessee, says he has seen as many as 30 patients a month with complaints about pain due to high heels in the past year.
Some women even request the removal of their whole baby toe in order to fit more snugly into their fashionable shoes, Lucas explains, but that request is too extreme for Lucas, who has administered collagen injections to the balls of women's feet that he describes as offering extra cushioning when they walk. He'd rather refer women who want their toes removed to surgeons who are willing to do it.
Both he and others in the medical world are wary of the impact on overall health of surgery done simply for cosmetic purposes.
"Surgery performed solely for the purpose of improving the appearance or size of the foot or ankle carries risks without medical benefit, and therefore should not be undertaken," warns the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.