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Foot Ankle Int. 2013 May;34(5):629-35. doi: 10.1177/1071100713475350. Epub 2013 Feb 5.

Hallux valgus in males--part 1: demographics, etiology, and comparative radiology.

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UNIFESP-Escola Paulista de Medicina, São Paulo, Brazil.



The high frequency of hallux valgus deformities in females is well known and has been widely reported in the literature. This finding tends to obscure the importance and the characteristic details of hallux valgus deformities in males. The severity of the deformity, its onset at an earlier age, and its inheritability seem to be more frequent in males, but there are no reports in the literature to substantiate these concepts. The purpose of this study was to analyze these questions in regard to males with hallux valgus.


The records and plain radiographs of 31 males (53 feet) with a diagnosis of hallux valgus that were treated over a 20-year period (1985-2005) were analyzed. During that same period, the senior author (CN) performed 812 procedures for the correction of hallux valgus deformities in women. In order to compare gender-related differences associated with this deformity, 31 women's charts-paired by age and affected side-were randomly selected and both clinical and radiological data were statistically compared.


The onset of the complaints of first ray pain in males was equally distributed by decades, indicating that the deformity begins earlier in this group. Among males, we found 68% of the subjects had a familial history of bunion deformities-58% were maternal and 10% were fraternal. In the control group of females, only 35% of the women reported inheritance of the deformity. No correlation with footwear was found among males. The radiographic measurements were significantly higher in the male group, which included the hallux valgus angle (HVA), the distal metatarsal articular angle (DMAA), and the tarsal metatarsal angle (TMA). The main gender difference was found to be the DMAA with first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint congruence being much more common in males (males = 57%, females = 30%). No correlations were found for metatarsus primus varus or pes planus.


Based on our observations, we conclude that hallux valgus in males is commonly hereditary in nature and is mainly transmitted by the mother, with early onset and higher severity when compared to women. We report a female/male ratio of 15:1. The main intrinsic factor associated with a hallux valgus deformity in males is a high DMAA.


Level III, retrospective comparative series.


hallux valgus; hallux valgus in males; hereditary

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