Men Dealing with Bunions
The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society recently performed a study to examine the presence of bunions in males as compared to females. Bunions predominantly affect women because women are far more likely to wear impractical shoes. However men with bunions are more common that one might think since bunions are often the result of a genetic predisposition. We usually hear of bunions more from women however, since narrow shoes that are hard on the feet can target this weak spot and trigger the development or progression of bunions.
As a result, approximately 90 percent of bunions have female owners, meaning fewer men with bunions are available for studies. For this reason, scientific observations on men with bunions (or hallux valgus) have been far less common.
Each male and female study participant began the study by answering several questions from a standard hallux valgus protocol. These questions ranged in topics but included questions about the participants’ pain level, deformity progression, lifestyle habits, family history and the use of special or constrictive footwear. Those who displayed or communicated a history of inflammatory, infectious or traumatic diseases were excluded, and all participants were described as having either “normal” or “flat” feet based on three weight-bearing lateral radiographs. (If you need even more details, you can read the study here).
You might think that once anyone (male or female) develops a bunion, the condition comes from just about the same place and progresses similarly among both genders. So what’s so special about this study? Well, in case you’ve been wondering about the differences the study found between men suffering from bunions and women with the same ailments, you’re in luck. Well, spoiler alert – we’ve got the main points of the study on hand! Keep reading to get brushed up on them:
- Among the males in the study, 68 percent of the subjects had a family history of bunion deformities.
- When you break down the case demographics, 58 percent of the subjects could be tracked back to their mothers while only 10 percent could point fingers at their fathers.
- Subjects noted the use of inadequate footwear frequently on the female side of the family, but use was very limited on the male side (shocker, I know).
- There was no statistical significance regarding the presence of flat feet for either gender. (I myself have high arches and bunions, so I personally never bought into the belief that flat feet cause hallux valgus.)
- There was a much earlier onset of the foot deformities in men in the study, since many of them sought treatment for the condition well before they reached 30 years old.
- Hallux Valgus presents as a more severe deformity among males. (Yikes, sorry guys!)
So there you have it: Those are the top takeaways from the male versus females bunion study. I thought the study was interesting, seeing as I personally have not been able to find much scientific data on the comparison or presence of bunions in men. So if you’re one of the men with bunions, know you’re not alone! And the same goes for any guy in your life dealing with the condition. Make sure to let him know!