Fans suspected Kim Kardashian suffered a Photoshop fail after spying an apparent extra toe in a KKW Fragrance ad. A podiatry expert explained to HollywoodLife what we were really seeing, and it’s probably not your first guess…or second.
It is indeed possible for people to have a sixth toe or finger (cue a Google search for hexadactyly). But Kim Kardashian’s apparent “sixth toe” is not what you think it is, according to Dr. Daniel Geller, a sports podiatry expert who works in foot and ankle surgery! “This is definitely not a sixth toe,” Dr. Geller EXCLUSIVELY told HollywoodLife, referring to a photo of Kim’s KKW Fragrance ad that sparked rumors of an extra toe on Aug. 20. While the next likely guess is a bunion, the “sixth toe” was spotted on the side of her pinky toe, defying the usual definition of a bunion. “Typically, a classic bunion deformity is the swollen, painful imminent on the big toe,” Dr. Geller explained. The podiatry expert then revealed what could actually be going on by the fashion icon’s toes.
“When there’s a deformity on the outside part of the foot, that’s called a tailor’s bunion which is what this appears to be,” Dr. Geller told HollywoodLife! “Essentially what you’re seeing is the fifth metatarsal bone that protrudes outward a little bit, which almost creates an optical illusion that she has a sixth toe.” Aha! The doctor even revealed what could be the culprit of Kim’s suspected tailor bunion, if that’s what she officially has.
“In this case, it’s usually the result of wearing high heels or shoes that are very narrow in the forefoot that really squeeze the toes together. As you squeeze the toes together, the metatarsal bone protrudes outward,” Dr. Geller explained. A tailor bunion wasn’t the foot doctor’s official diagnosis, however, as he suggested that a “bursa, which is an overlapping sac over the bone” could be giving the side of her foot “a more pronounced” look. “And if there is bursitis, or inflammation, over the bursa of that joint can also make it look more pronounced,” Dr. Geller added. Ouch — we asked him if that hurts, and the doctor told us, “It could be because as it starts to protrude out and you wear certain shoes that can cause friction. Wearing high heels might also hurt because you’re pinching the toes together which causes that area to be stretched.”
These bone issues can be corrected, according to Dr. Geller. “One could fix the issue with cosmetic surgery to make the bone look a little more streamlined and take away that pain or discomfort she has in the area. Surgery is not for everybody and sometimes it’s just managing shoe gear better, or using ice, anti-inflammatories etc.,” he told HollywoodLife, adding that a surgery would only require a break from heels for four to six weeks — and that’s “to be conservative.”
There’s even more good news! “Typically, once it’s corrected, it’s corrected,” Dr. Geller told us. It all depends on your ligaments. “There are some people with a tendency for the deformity to recur based on certain ligaments, certain hypermobility, but once you correct the bone it’s very unlikely that it would come back,” Dr. Geller elaborated.