You’ve probably been told that high heels can cause bunions, and most people have accepted this as a common truth. But a new study has revealed that bunions may not, in fact, be caused by wearing high-heeled shoes, and that for the most part they are genetically inherited.

The study, published in the Arthritis Care & Research Access Journal by Harvard Medical School and Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston, showed that bunions tend to actually be “highly inheritable,” rather than caused by external factors, such as wearing high heels. The study’s research included almost 1,400 participants, 57 percent of whom were female, with an average age of 66.

Bunions can interfere with your everyday life. If you have a bunion that is causing you severe discomfort or pain, please don’t hesitate to contact our Bunion Surgery Center of Excellence bunion specialist, Dr. Kamran Jamshidinia, or another member of our podiatry department in Los Angeles.

What Makes Bunions Hereditary?

Bunions are considered a hereditary condition, meaning if you have a family member who suffers from a bunion or other foot deformity, then you have an increased chance of developing bunions.

Luckily, if you do develop a bunion, there are many treatment options available. When it’s in its earliest stages, a doctor may prescribe orthotics or splints to treat the bunion. And while wearing high heels may not actually cause bunions, refraining from wearing them once you have developed a bunion can help keep it from progressing and worsening.

When a bunion becomes severe, or is causing consistent pain and discomfort and preventing you from wearing normal shoes, your doctor may render surgery necessary. Our world-renowned podiatrist and bunion specialist at the Bunion Surgery Center of Excellence in Los Angeles performs state-of-the-art bunionectomies that can be done on an outpatient basis.

Other Causes of Bunions

While the findings of this study may provide relief for some nervous high-heel wearers, bunions can develop from many different factors. Who gets bunions is determined by various health conditions, predispositions and lifestyle choices.

Other bunion causes include:

  • Being a woman (women are nine times more likely than men to develop bunions)
  • Having rheumatoid arthritis or gout
  • Having Type 2 Diabetes
  • Excessive pronation during walking or running
  • Having a specific foot type prone to bunions

Not all bunions are hereditary, and they can develop for all different types of reasons. While a bunionectomy isn’t always necessary for mild or moderate bunions, you may be a candidate for surgery if your bunion is severe. To find out if you are a candidate for a bunionectomy, please schedule a consultation to speak with our center’s bunion specialist.

Bunion Prevention

While hereditary bunions may not always be preventable, there are steps you can take to help reduce your risk for developing bunions and to help prevent existing bunions from growing.

  • Always wear shoes that fit correctly and are the right size
  • Use shoe inserts or insole supports to help keep your feet in the same position
  • Seek medical advice when your bunion is in its earliest stages

Contact a Los Angeles Bunion Specialist Today

If you have a bunion, whether mild or severe, and are interested in finding out bunion treatment options, please don’t hesitate to call the Bunion Surgery Center of Excellence in Los Angeles and schedule a consultation with our world-class foot and bunion specialist. You can call (888) 552-9732 or fill out our online contact form.

Next, read about bunionectomy recovery.