haglunds deformity

Haglund’s deformity is a painful condition that develops in the back of the heel. The bony area at the back of the heel where the Achilles tendon is located can become irritated, enlarged and swollen by wearing shoes (usually rigid-backed high heels) that apply too much pressure to that area. For this reason, Haglund’s deformity is also known as “pump bump.”

Along with pain at the back of the heel, there may be a noticeable bump, swelling, redness and tenderness.

It is important to treat Haglund’s deformity to avoid it from developing into bursitis. This is a condition where the fluid-filled bursa sac at the back of the heel becomes inflamed (bursitis). It can also calcify the heel bone and make the bump more prominent and painful.

What Are the Causes of Haglund’s Deformity?

Along with wearing high heels (pumps), Haglund’s deformity can also be caused by the following:

  • High arches
  • Poor walking biomechanics
  • A tight Achilles tendon

Diagnosing and Treating Haglund’s Deformity

A podiatrist can sometimes diagnose Haglund’s deformity with just a physical examination. However, additional imaging tests may be necessary.

Treating Haglund’s deformity will depend on how severe the condition is. Some of these treatments include:

  • Changes in footwear
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Custom orthotics
  • Heel pads or cushions
  • Anti-inflammatory injections
  • Surgery to relieve offload pressure from the heel bone and surrounding tissues

If you are experiencing pain in the back of your heel, or you notice a bony prominence, redness or swelling, contact your podiatrist for an examination.

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