Are you familiar with the condition known as Haglund’s Deformity? At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we find that patients have some misconceptions about this disorder which affects the heel. Below are some facts to better familiarize you with this foot problem:
FACT: Haglund’s Deformity is a bony enlargement that develops on the back of your heel. Other signs of this condition are swelling and redness around the enlargement and pain where the Achilles tendon attaches to your heel bone.
FACT: Another name for Haglund’s Deformity is “pump bump.” That’s because pumps with their stiff backs hit the bony enlargement and irritate it, resulting in pain when walking and wearing shoes.
FACT: More women than men get Haglund’s Deformity.
FACT: Although pumps aggravate the bony enlargement, they are not the cause of Haglund’s Deformity. This condition is the result of structural defects, including overly high arches, the tendency to walk on the outside of your heel or a tight Achilles tendon.
FACT: Haglund’s Deformity can only be corrected by surgery. There are, however, a number of conservative measures that can be used to relieve pain and decrease pressure on the bony protrusion. After our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas, examine your heel and order x-rays or other imaging studies to confirm a diagnosis of Haglund’s Deformity a treatment plan can be determined.
FACT: Treatment for pump bump will depend in part on the cause. Heel pads, for example, may be recommended if the cause is high arches or stretching exercises for your calf if the source of the condition is a tight Achilles tendon. Custom orthotics can also be used to correct abnormal foot motion.
FACT: Pain from pump bump can be reduced by icing the bony enlargement. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel (do not apply ice directly to the skin) for 20 minutes at a time with a 40-minute break in between.
FACT: You can help prevent inflammation of the bony growth by wearing shoes with open backs or those made of soft materials. You should also avoid running on hard surfaces and up hills.