University of Virginia Historical Collections at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

X-Ray of Bound Feet

Long-term Effects of Foot Binding


This x-ray shows the long-term effects of years of foot binding.  The toes have been wrapped under the foot, the bones in the lower foot were broken, and the lower foot was wrapped as tightly as possible against the heel of the foot.  It was not unusual for young girls’ toes to fall off, which was considered fortunate because it made the binding less painful and allowed the foot to be bound even tighter and smaller.




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