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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 August 2006, 15:50 GMT 16:50 UK
Experts warn of high-heel danger
Three women wearing high-heeled shoes
High heels can cause serious ankle injuries
Women are paying the price for fashion in the form of broken bones and sprained ankles, a doctor has warned.

The warm weather has led to a spate of injuries caused by women falling from their high-heeled sandals.

Rupert Evans, an accident and emergency doctor at University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff said injuries could lead to long-term problems.

Women should stick to shoes with heels less than 4cm (1.5in) if they wanted to avoid a trip to hospital, he advised.

Dr Evans said he has seen an increase in the number of women being admitted to hospital with injuries caused by the fashionable footwear.

Alcohol and heels are a bad mix
Martin Shalley, British Association for Emergency Medicine

Injuries ranged from sprained ankles to broken bones and dislocations - and in some cases caused permanent damage.

He estimated that up to half a dozen women were now being admitted to his department with shoe-related injuries on weekend evenings.

Drinking alcohol added to the problem, he said.

"I suspect it's something to do with the weather we've been having.

"Women are dressing differently and a lot of them are coming in with high-heel shoe injuries."

Sensible shoes

He added that shoes which did not have a back or a strap could cause particular problems.

"Try to have shoes with a strap and keep the heel height down to 4cm (1.5in)," he said.

He said he was not advising that women should stop wearing high heels altogether, but advocating wearing them in moderation.

"There can be serious consequences, but we are not trying to ban them," he said.

Martin Shalley, president of the British Association for Emergency Medicine said he had not spotted a recent increase, but he reiterated that high heels could definitely lead to serious injuries.

"That is something we see and I have seen a few breaks over the years. Falling off a high heel can cause much more serious injuries."

He added that Dr Evans' advice was very reasonable.

"Of course it could be a problem associated with alcohol. Alcohol and heels are a bad mix," he said.

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