What Is a Haglund's Deformity?

A Haglund's Deformity is a bony enlargement on the back of the heel. This enlargement can lead to painful bursitis secondary to irritation from shoes.  Bursitis is an inflammation of a natural bursa that lies between the back of the heel bone and the Achilles' tendon.

The Haglund's Deformity is sometimes referred to as a "pump bump." This is because young to middle-aged women are most commonly plagued with this condition due to the rigid back pumps or high heels thay wear. There is an underlying, biomechanical contribution to this particular deformity, such as: tight Achilles' tendon (equinus), high arches, the shape of the heel bone (calcaneus), and the way you walk due to your foot type (gait). No matter the underlying cause, the symptoms are similar.

Do You Have a Haglund's Deformity?

Signs and Symptoms of a Haglund's Deformity Include:

  1. Red, painful bump on the back of the heel.
  2. Achilles' tendon pain.
  3. Swelling on the back of the heel.

These signs and symptoms can occur on both feet at the same time, or may be isolated to just one foot.

A diagnosis of Haglund's deformity can be made by a Foot and Ankle Specialist. They will typically use X-ray findings along with information gained on clinical exam.

How is a Haglund's Deformity Treated?

Conservative (non-surgical) treatment typically consists of:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication (Note:  Please consult your physician before taking any medications)
  • Ice
  • Stretching the Achilles' Tendon
  • Heel Lifts/Pads
  • Changing shoe gear to open back shoes or shoes that don't irritate the deformity
  • Physical Therapy
  • Orthotics
  • In severe cases, immobolization may be necessary

If conservative therapy fails, sometimes surgery is necessary. Surgical correction typically involves removing the painful bony prominence and lengthening the Achilles' tendon to prevent recurrence.

toes and shoes

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