Podiatrist (Foot and Ankle Specialist) Questions Bunions

Is hammertoe genetic?

My mom suffers from a lot of foot problems, including hammertoe and bunions. I noticed hammer toe occurring in the 3rd toe in each foot. It rubs against my shoes and is sometimes painful. Can I prevent it from getting worse? I'm only 29 and don't want to end up having to get foot surgery when I'm older.

15 Answers

95% of foot problems are genetic. See a podiatrist for options.
Most hammertoes are genetic and do come from hereditary. One must seek a professional opinion particularly at the age 29 and that way but appropriate treatment prior to surgery can be completed.
Hammertoes do have a genetic and an environmental component. Yes, you may be predisposed to having hammertoes due to your mother, but often, they can be treated conservatively if treatment starts early before a rigid contraction occurs. Usually, it can be splinted with a "Budin" splint to help control the contracture. An X-ray and full evaluation is needed to see where the deformity is in its progress, but surgery isn't the only available option.

I would also recommend an alteration in shoes and avoiding flip flops. I advise you to have a consultation with a local podiatrist before attempting treatment. Feel free to visit our website for more information at farahpodiatryassociates.com

Have a nice day.
Changing shoe gear and/or orthotics can be helpful. You will need a custom orthotic, so you need to see your podiatrist.
The propensity for hammertoes yes but not truly genetic. Proper shoes and inserts can prevent. See a podiatrist for further care. It can be slowed down if not prevented.
Many factors can lead to the presence of bunions and hammertoes; two of the most common are environmental and genetic. There are different types of splints on the market which can help with the symptoms of a hammertoe, and custom inserts may be able to help keep the problem from worsening. Many people who have painful bunions and hammertoes do wind up needing to have them surgically corrected, which is really the only way to actually straighten the toes. If it comes to that, rest assured that it can be done with relatively little pain and disruption to your normal life. Seek the advice of a podiatrist in person if you continue to have problems!
Yes, hammertoes and bunions are largely genetic. There is not much that can be done to prevent them. There are tapings and splints available to help with the problem, but these only help when they are applied. As soon as you remove them, the deformities recur. If they become problematic enough that you think they may need to be surgically corrected, it is better to have it done sooner rather than later. As the problem progresses, the surgery required to correct it becomes more involved and complex including longer recovery. Thanks for the question!
Yes and no.
We all get our looks and body structure from the combination our parents. That being said, you can be predisposed to having hammertoes. There are pads to help reduce the deformity, that can also reduce pain. However the deformity is caused by tendon imbalances as well as structural abnormalities. It tends to progress with time. There is no quick fix and if it bothers you, you will likely end up with surgical correction. Luckily they now have innovative devices like smart toe implants that can make surgery aftercare and results better.
Hammertoes and bunion are caused by a combination of genetics and environment. Certain foot types are more prone to bunions and wearing certain shoes (such as pointy ended or high heeled) can influence the foot to create a bunion/hammertoe scenario. However, not all bunions and hammertoes need surgery. I have seen patients with terrible bunions, who have no discomfort and are presenting for something totally unrelated. The mitigating factors are really shoe gear and activity. If you can wear shoes with a wide toe box, that should limit the pressure on your toe/toes and reduce your symptoms/prevent worsening. Unfortunately, there is no splinting or bracing options that have proven to be effective in preventing bunion and hammertoe formation.
Hammertoe deformities have many causes. The DNA factor is one leading cause ,however, there are many other reason for this deformity .Micro- trauma from wearing improper foot wear and other direct injuries may contribute to this condition..
Hi, Hammertoes can develop for many reasons, genetics included. Flat and high arch feet, change in foot structure over time, injuries, diabetes, neuropathy, systemic disease, can all result in formation of hammertoes. I’d go see a local podiatrist to evaluate your feet and provide options. I’d suggest orthotics and appropriately fitting supportive shoes to start. Good luck. :)
It is true that some of these foot problems are genetic and most likely since your mom had these problems you may develop some as well. There are hammertoe pads or crest pads out there that will help bring the toe down so it no longer rubs against the shoe. There are a few in office procedures that can be done to help prevent it but it depends if the hammertoe is a rigid or flexible. Rigid will usually require surgery.
Bunion and hammertoe deformities are not directly related to hereditary factors, but they are indirectly. You can inherit foot structures like flatfeet, which may predispose you to develop foot deformities. The best way to prevent it from getting worse is to make sure your feet are well supported and biomechanically aligned using proper shoe gear and possibly custom orthotics. I would advise that you have a consultation by a specialist to formulate a plan aimed to decrease progression of the hammertoes.
Hammer toes are generally NOT genetic, but rather result from ill-fitting shoe gear, high heels, and mechanical issues related to the foot and ankle.


Lee Wittenberg, DPM

Apache Foot & Ankle Specialists
4840 S. Fort Apache Rd, Ste 101
Las Vegas, NV 89147
702-362-2622

2980 St. Rose Pkwy, Ste 140
Henderson, NV 89052
702-722-6633
1. Make sure to wear shoes with a deep, round or square toe box style shoe gear to accommodate for your hammer toe deformity. Also, a tennis shoe.
2. There is a simple toe sling type of pad that you can apply in the morning and remove in the evenings. Please do not use any medicated corn pad onto the 3rd toe, if you have started to develop a corn on the top of the middle joint of the hammer toe deformity. However, you may require surgical intervention in the future to correct your hammer toe deformity (e.g. arthroplasty-remodeling of the affected joint or arthrodesis fusion of the deformity). These procedures are performed as the gold standard depending on the severity of one's hammertoe deformity. www.Pedifix.com "Toe Straightener" for a single toe.