The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Weight Gain Concern- Valerie Bertinelli Discusses Unexpected Consequences of Foot Injuries

Posted by on Wednesday, May 21st, 2014


We’ve all heard that weight gain can trigger all sorts of issues, including ankle and foot injuries. One survey of 6,000 people conducted by the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society found that 41% of people with foot pain had gained weight prior to the onset of discomfort. Even a modest weight gain of as little as 10 pounds was linked with injury.

However, weight gain is also a concern after injury, when patients are told to “take it easy” and are, essentially, immobilized for weeks or even months. Here at The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine in NYC, we encourage patients to remain active during their recovery so they may avoid ending up in the same situation as Hot In Cleveland actress Valerie Bertinelli, who admits she felt shame over her post-surgery weight gain.

Valerie Bertinelli
Valerie Bertinelli opens up about weight gain after foot surgery.
Image Source: Mike Coggins via

What Happened to Valerie Bertinelli?

In 1975, Valerie Bertinelli played the adorable Barbara Cooper on One Day at a Time. In 1994, she was Gloria on the popular Touched by an Angel series. Currently, Ms. Bertinelli plays Melanie Moretti on Hot in Cleveland, after famously losing 40 pounds on the Jenny Craig program. She picked up headlines this year for gaining 15 pounds back, following a December 2013 foot injury. The 54-year-old former Mrs. Eddie Van Halen reportedly broke her foot “trying to chase cats off the counter.”  Her injury warranted foot surgery on December 31st.

In April, she told Sharon Osbourne on The Talk, “I haven’t been able to work out. So the weight has been creeping on. But I have to take the shame out of it because it’s not fair. I have gained a few pounds… it started to panic me. Then I thought, ‘Well, wait, a minute. This is my body. I’m almost 54. I broke my foot!’ […] My doctor told me to not get my heart rate up. […] We all need to give each other a break – especially women. Let’s leave each other alone.”

This month, Valerie reported that she’s been working out on the elliptical with her coworkers, though her fractured foot is not yet fully healed, and she has lost five pounds already.

5 Ways to Prevent Weight Gain after Foot Injuries

1. Get around using assistive devices, like the iWalk hands-free crutch.

2. Try non-weight-bearing exercises, like swimming or handlebar rowing.

3. Count your calories and get support using free web tools, like those at

4. Drink more water, so you feel full.

5. Plan your snacks wisely. Add protein + a low-calorie carb like fruits or veggies for optimal fuel.

iwalk crutch
The iWalk Hands-Free Crutch may help you do more moving and less lamenting.

Foot Injury Rehab in New York

If you have recently sustained a foot injury in NY, you can get expert care at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine clinics in Manhattan and Westchester. In addition to offering certified surgeons and podiatrists, we also facilitate physical therapy sessions and full recovery programs for our patients. Unlike traditional physicians who may simply tell you to “stay off your feet” following ankle and foot injuries, we encourage you to participate in active recovery to avoid weight gain, remain flexible, and boost range of motion for better healing. Book an appointment with one of our experienced sports medicine doctors today.


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.