Rise of the Loub job: Women rush for 370 surgery to ease high-heel pain
23:33 GMT, 17 August 2012
Charlotte Glen from Shoreditch, East London, has had the procedure to ease the heel pain caused by years of wearing very high shoes
Fatigued feet after a hard day in high heels The solution used to be an emergency pair of flat pumps stashed in a handbag or car.
But many women are now taking radical steps to ensure they never have to sink to kicking off their stilettos.
Soaring numbers are asking surgeons for cushioning ‘foot fillers’ to help them follow in the towering footsteps of celebrities such as Victoria Beckham and Coleen Rooney, who are seldom seen without heels of six inches or more.
Requests for the procedure – nicknamed ‘the Loub job’ after iconic French stiletto designer Christian Louboutin – have doubled in a year, according to British surgeons.
The bizarre treatment, already popular in the US, involves having the toes, heels and balls of the feet injected with dermal filler much like that used on the face by cosmetic surgeons to fill lines and wrinkles.
A topical anaesthetic similar to the type used by tattoo artists is rubbed on to numb the area, then diluted Botox and collagen is injected to plump up and numb the fat pads on key parts of the feet.
These fat pads naturally shrivel with age, but their loss increases if the individual is overweight, diabetic or often wears high heels.
The injected fillers create a cushion to eliminate the common burning sensation associated with hours spent in high heels.
But with the procedure costing as much as 370 and lasting for no more than six months, it might be more cost-effective to simply invest in more comfortable footwear. The craze follows a boom in super-high shoes, with sales of six-inch heels quadrupling in the past year.
The number of women having the dermal foot fillers at cosmetic surgery group Transform soared by more than fifth in June alone.
Spokesman Shami Thomas said: ‘In the lead up to summer, we have seen enquiries soar by 21 per cent for women requesting dermal filler injections into the toe pads, heels and balls of the feet. This has doubled since the same time last year.’
One woman has had the medical procedure to ease her foot pain caused by high heel use
Beryl Aitkin of Transpire Cosmetic Clinic says enquires about foot fillers at her clinics are up by 30 per cent compared with last year.
The procedure, which costs almost the same as a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes, is ‘a sound investment’, she claims.
She added: ‘Requests for Loub jobs have surpassed bookings for lip fillers.’
But podiatrist Akbal Randhawa warned that the procedure should not be taken lightly.
Victoria Beckham is rarely seen without a pair of high-heeled Louboutin boots on
Victoria Beckham in another pair of huge heels from Louboutin
Mr Randhawa, who runs a foot clinic at Sloane Hospital in Beckenham, Kent, said: ‘The most serious risk is of developing fibrous nodules. Post-operative infections can also be a problem. In the worst case scenario they could spread into the lymph node and require amputation.’
Although some nurses and even dentists routinely inject filler into clients’ faces, when working with the feet it is essential to consult a podiatrist, he cautioned.
‘The foot is one of the most complicated structures that we know of, and every individual has a different structure,’ he went on.
‘Intervening might cause even more problems.’
Kelly Brook is another fan of Christian Louboutin high heels