By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
March 03, 2016

Haglund’s deformity is an abnormal bony protrusion on the back of the heel.  Since this bony enlargement sticks out, it can become inflamed when it rubs against shoes. In fact, a more common name for Haglund’s deformity is “pump bump” because the stiff backs of the pump style of shoes (as well as ice skates, men’s dress shoes and some work boots) aggravate the bump, causing it to become red, sore and swollen. Sometimes the pressure on the deformity can even lead to bursitis in that area.

People with certain foot structures are more likely to develop Haglund’s deformity. These include:

These biomechanical issues can be genetic.

Treatment

Fortunately there are many conservative treatment approaches for Haglund’s deformity. These are aimed at reducing pain and inflammation caused by the irritation of the bony enlargement. At New England Foot  & Ankle Specialists, one of our board certified podiatrists, George A. Abboud, D.P.M., Brian D. Tedesco, D.P.M., Carl Conui, D.P.M., or Kimberly Thurmond, D.P.M. will conduct a complete examination of your foot and ankle. An x-ray will most likely be taken so that the foot doctor can get a good look at the heel bone and the deformity. Once the extent and position of the enlargement are evaluated, treatment can be discussed. Options include:

  • Icing and medication—oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen) and icing the back of the heel will help reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Stretching exercises—can help with a tight Achilles tendon or heel cord
  • Physical therapy
  • Shoe modifications—using orthotics or padding in your shoes may shift pressure off the bony protrusion; choosing shoes with a soft or no back may also be helpful

These treatment methods will not reduce the size of the protrusion. In severe cases that do not respond to the above measures, surgery may be necessary. If you have trouble with Haglund’s deformity, make an appointment at either our Reading office and find out how you can best get relief.

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