The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Defeeted in the Public Eye: Kelly Osbourne’s Controversial Foot Surgery

Posted by on Tuesday, January 29th, 2013


Being a professional personality may seem like the easiest job in the world. You’re paid the big bucks to speak your mind on television. You get to wear fancy clothes, have staff to do your hair and makeup, and spend your time flying to this or that big party or media event. But for Kelly Osbourne, infamous daughter of the famous British rock star Ozzy, the limelight isn’t always shining and bright. Sometimes it’s dark, damaging, and downright unhealthy. Osbourne has famously battled her weight. As an overweight teen on a reality television show, she was the constant butt of Internet jokes and heckling: not great for a girl’s burgeoning self-esteem. As it turns out, her self-esteem wasn’t the only unhealthy thing about her. Kelly Osbourne has suffered for years with flat feet and bunions—conditions she has neglected to treat.



A career as a professional anchor on E!’s Fashion Police inspired Osbourne to be healthier, but it was her role on Dancing with the Stars that really made a huge difference in her physique, and in her personal style. Grungy, alternative, and cute transformed to smokey-eyed, leggy, and glamorous. She looks like she spent six months hitting the gym, and getting first class stress busting spa treatments and good fashion advice (which is exactly what happens when you’re on Dancing with the Stars). I suppose, when your job is to look amazing on television, dancing for eight hours a day, seven days a week is a great idea. But, when you have a chronic foot problem: not so great. Osbourne managed to lose upwards of 50 pounds, scoring multiple magazine appearances with her bikini pictures. The price: the health of her feet.



In addition to her flat feet and bunions, Osbourne tore the cartilage at the base of both of her big toes and needs surgery on both feet to fix it. While her doctors are mum on the details, torn cartilage and severe bunions may require the most extreme bunion surgery available, a lapidus bunionectomy (joint-fusion). Fusing the big toe joint is a last resort, it can affect gait and is irreversible. However, it can dramatically reduce pain. Hopefully, Osbourne’s feet aren’t bad enough to require this procedure. She’s very young and it could prevent her from reprising her role on DWTS.

Before surgery, Osbourne may find some relief with a supportive splint:



The other consequence of foot surgery we don’t often talk about here is how it affects overall health. In Osbourne’s case, this is a major concern. After a 50 lb weight loss, she’s afraid inactivity will set her back metabolically, and for good reason. Many people gain weight during sedentary weeks (or months, in the case of a lapidus bunionectomy) of healing. How can Osbourne avoid gaining weight after surgery?

  • Stick to a healthy diet and restrict caloric intake to the minimum necessary to support her weight and height.
  • Stretching and upper body weight lifting can both help raise her heart rate and keep her metabolism active.
  • Once all incisions have healed, swimming and water aerobics are great low-impact activities that improve cardiovascular health.
  • Once some weight bearing is possible, riding a stationary bike can strengthen the legs and ankles without putting too much pressure on the feet.

If the condition reappears sometime down the road, Osbourne should contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine for prompt treatment. She may have avoided all the pain with a little early intervention: a lesson for all of us.


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.