Daniel L. Reminga, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S.
Foot Doctor Houghton, MI
801 Memorial Rd.
Houghton, MI 49931 US
906-482-9950
 

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By Daniel Reminga
July 16, 2012
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

DNA is the fundamental characteristic of someone or something. Why is our DNA significant…all 6 billion chemical letters of it? Your DNA tells your unique, individual story. DNA carries genetic information, called genes. Genes are often called the Blueprint of Life. This unique story links us to those who came before us; this is called our “genotype”. Our “phenotype” is what we actually turn out to be. Has anyone ever said to you, “You have your Grandma’s nose” or, “when you smile, you look just like your father”? The comparisons are endless. Why? We are all genetically coded, linked to our ancestors in varying degrees through this amazing molecular structure.

So…it would make sense that several foot disorders are believed to be influenced or created by our genetic predisposition. Interesting…right? Some genetic foot disorders would include; bunions, flatfoot, and club foot.

BUNIONS

A bunion (hallux valgus) is an enlargement of the joint located at the base of the big toe. A tailor’s bunion (bunionette) is a similar enlargement of the joint at the base of the 5th toe (little toe). A bunion is an abnormal, bony bump that forms. Bunions form when your big toe pushes against your other toes. In turn, your other toes can develop a deformity called hammertoes. Because your toes have no where to go when your large toe is pushing up against them, they begin to bend upward at the joint forming hammertoes. Dr. Reminga says, “this crowding of the toes makes it difficult to wear shoes comfortably and results in pain and discomfort for both the bunion and the hammertoes. Bunions can be exacerbated by wearing tight, ill-fitting shoes but they are often a result of an inherited structural defect.”  Seeking a board-certified foot and ankle specialist, like Dr. Reminga at Northern Foot Care Center, is helpful when considering the options that are available to treat a bunion deformity.

Flat Foot

Flatfoot is also a common condition that is hereditary. Dr. Reminga says, “flatfooted people have a depression in their arch which is abnormal. This gives the appearance that the arch area is collapsed this causes the heel to pronate outward while the inside of the foot rolls inward.”  People that are diagnosed with flatfoot experience inadequate support of the bones and joints. Flatfoot causes abnormal joint motion during gait, the manner in which you walk. Foot orthotic devices that are prescribed by a foot and ankle specialist like Dr. Reminga can correct these problems and reduce occurrence of painful symptoms that evolve over time with age. It is important to be evaluated, cast, and fit for custom orthotics by a specialist like Dr. Reminga so that your orthotics devices are customized according to your specific needs. If orthotics are not prescribed by an expert, like Dr. Reminga at Northern Foot Care Center, more problems can arise causing more pain and discomfort. Dr. Reminga may also perform surgeries that correct the flatfoot deformity for more severe cases

ClubFoot

Clubfoot is one of the most common birth defects, as described by The March of Dimes. Dr. Reminga says, “Clubfoot is usually diagnosed at birth however, it can also be diagnosed in utero when a foot is shown to be pointing downward while twisting inward.” Initially, clubfoot is not painful and does not present a problem until the child begins to weight bear by standing and walking. A series of operations and braces referred to as the Ponseti method is the most common surgery to rectify clubfoot. If left untreated, impaired walking will result. The disorder is thought to be a result of both genetic and environmental factors. The March of Dimes refers to a study which found a woman who smokes with a family history of clubfoot has a 20-fold increased risk of having an affected baby.

Other Foot Problem

Many other foot problems are hereditary, these include bunions, hammertoes, flat feet, gout, and even ingrown toenails. Also, bone strength is partly hereditary even though calcium intake, exercise, and hormonal changes can positively influence bone strength.  Bone mass has racial factors. Asians, for example, have less bone mass that whites, and whites have less bone mass than blacks.  The greater your bone mass, the less likely you are to develop arthritis or osteoporosis.

Dr. Reminga says, “Your best precaution against foot pain is to be aware of  hereditary factors, those which you can’t change as well as lifestyle and life-stage factors, those which you can change or at least influence in a positive way.” Being aware of these factors determine whether your feet are healthy or hurting. Dr. Reminga, at Northern Foot Care Center, is specially trained and is a board-certified Foot and Ankle Specialist. Living with foot pain is not normal, Dr. Reminga can help. Call our office to schedule your evaluation today at  906-482-9950.

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