It is true that deformities in the foot such as bunions and hammertoes have a genetic link. However, it isn't a simple 'bunion gene.' Our foot structure is inherited from our parents and the balance or imbalance of tendons within dictate what type of deformities and even which conditions you are likely to suffer from. If your mother/grandmother/father/etc. has or had a bunion you can inherit one as well. However, if you treat early on, custom orthotics can help slow the progression of the bunion down. In some cases you may never have to think about surgery!