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Evetta L. Borden, DPM
Study Foot Problems Inherited
The Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center
. http://www.footankledc.com

Study Foot Problems Inherited

If you have a painful foot disorder and think it might just run in your family, new research says you could be right.

The American College of Rheumatology recently announced research confirming two common and often painful foot disorders are indeed hereditary. Researchers presented the Framingham Foot Study at the ACR's annual scientific meeting in Atlanta. Their research showed that malformations called hallux valgus and pes cavus were often inherited.

Cutting through the Latin names, hallux valgus is a type of bunion that forces the big toe to angle towards the other toes on the foot. Pes cavus is a high arch that doesn't flatten when the sufferer puts weight on it.

The researchers found that hallux valgus was inherited in approximately 39 percent of the women and 38 percent of men in the study. They also found that 89 percent of the participants under the age of sixty inherited the condition.

Of the people with pes cavus, 68 percent of the women and 20 percent of the men inherited the condition. Of those under the age of 60, 99 percent of the cases in women and 63 percent in men were inherited.

The Framingham Foot Study examined common foot disorders and the functional limitations they cause in 2,179 participants from 2002 through 2005. Its goal was to evaluate whether these common foot conditions are inherited. Of the 2,179 participants, 675 had hallux valgus and 154 had pes cavus. The researchers used statistical genetics software to assess whether the conditions were inherited.

So What Does This Mean For You?

Well, these conditions are painful, sometimes severely. But they're also treatable, and treatment is most effective in the early stages. There are other causes, of course many bunions arise when people wear poorly-fitting shoes, especially a narrow, pointed toe box that squeezes the toes into an unnatural position. Arthritis and other illnesses can also cause them. But if you have family members with hallux valgus, that can be your warning sign to pay attention to your own feet. See a foot and ankle specialist if you see the characteristic turn of the big toe and resulting lump on the side of the toe made of bone and soft tissue beginning to form.

If you have, or develop a bunion, there are some treatments you can try before resorting to surgery. However, if non-invasive options don't result in pain relief, take heart, there are innovative new surgical remedies that were not available until only recently that allow near immediate mobilityreducing down time while healing (e.g. research Ludloff procedure).

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