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Stilettos more dangerous than sport


Summary of story from the Daily telegraph (Aust.), April 17, 2011.

Sky-high stilettos are now injuring more women than sports accidents in New South Wales (NSW).

NSW ambulance paramedics report a rise in emergency calls from women suffering ankle fractures, dislocated knees, head injuries and broken wrists caused by falling from their shoes.

Podiatrists and chiropractors have also seen “dramatic” increases in chronic injuries from wearing extreme heels long-term.

Ambulance figures show accidents spike on weekends when “more often than not there is some level of intoxication which contributes to falling”.

“The worst incident we’ve seen was a girl in her early 20s who rolled her ankle inwards in very high heels while standing in a club, resulting in a compound fracture, where the bone actually sticks out,”paramedic spokesman Craig Pusser said.

“That’s an injury we usually see in footballers.”

The height of stilettos has shot up in recent years and they now range up to a staggering 17cm.

The average pair of heels now towers at 11cm which is almost twice as high as in the 1970s.

The heels throw a woman’s weight forward and dramatically increase the risk of overbalancing, especially on hard surfaces.

As well as lower-leg injuries, paramedics are seeing more secondary injuries as a result of women crashing to the ground.

“On a sporting field, you’re falling down onto grass so the sporting injuries we’re attending are purely related to the ankle or lower-leg,” Pusser said.

“But outside of the sporting arena we’re also attending to knee and head injuries, chest injuries, broken or fractured wrists and busted fingers as girls go down unexpectedly on concrete, stairs, or fall against a table while out to dinner.”

Leading foot and ankle surgeon Dr Martin Sullivan, said he had treated several serious ankle fractures in women who had fallen in their heels in the past 12 months.

“This generation, from 16 to 25, are really into wearing seriously high heels … the higher you are, the more likely you are to twist an ankle, but also the harder you’re going to come down,” he said.

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