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About Haglund’s Deformity.

It is a heel abnormality. It is best described as an enlargement of a bony bump where the Achilles tendon is located. This bony enlargement tends to rub against stiff shoes and consequently leads to the irritation of soft tissues around the Achilles tendon.

The irritation of the soft tissues leads to bursitis. The bursitis is a condition caused by the inflammation of the bursa, (a sack filled with fluid). Tenderness of the foot is also experienced.

Who is susceptible to Haglund’s deformity?

Haglund’s deformity is sometimes referred to as “pump bump” since it often occurs in women who wear pump- style high heels.

 What Causes Haglund’s Deformity

Haglund’s deformity is hereditary to some extent. It can be triggered by your foot structure.  You are more susceptible if:

  • Often walk on the outside of your feet,
  • Have tight Achilles tendon
  • Have a high-arched foot

Shoes with a firm, rigid back and are too tight also contribute to the development of Haglund’s deformity. This is because Haglund’s occurs when the heel is subjected to constant pressure. Then the pressure aggravates the enlargement of the bony bump.

Signs and Symptoms

“Pump bump” affects either one foot or both feet.

If suspicious of Haglund’s deformity look out for any of the following signs:

  • Redness around the inflamed tissue
  • The back of the heel appears swollen.
  • Tenderness at the back of the heel
  • Blisters at the back of the foot due to the shoe rubbing against the bump.

Treatment Options

 Home care

Place heel pads at the back of the shoes. The pads will redistribute the pressure and relieve the discomfort and pain.

If you have a healthy foot and not suffering from any structural deformity of the foot, bunions, or tendinitis, switch into wearing open shoes. The open heeled shoes such as clogs do not rub against the bone hence no irritation providing relief.

After walking around in your shoes, remove your shoes and apply ice for 20 to 40 minutes every day. These reduces the inflammation and numbs some of the pain.

Conservative Treatment

Medication. Try oral non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The NSAIDs work to reduce the inflammation and provide relief from. There are also topical anti-inflammatory ointments that you apply directly to the heel that provides pain relief.

Exercises.  If you have tight heel cord try stretching exercises. The stretching will relieve tension from the Achilles tendon. Physical therapy such as ultrasound and soft tissue massage will help reduce the inflammation.

Orthotic devices.  There are custom arch supports that will assist you in controlling the motion of the foot. In severe cases, a custom made soft-cast, or an immobilizing boot may be necessary. It will immobilize the foot allowing the heel to heal.

Non-conservative treatment

If non-invasive treatments do not ease the pain, consider surgical treatments. The Podiatrist (foot and ankle surgeon) will recommend the best procedure for your case. The bone enlargement is often removed, smoothed or filled down.  The surgical procedure should re-shape the heel bone.

The surgery will reduce the pressure on the soft tissues and the bursa.  The next one week or two you will be forced to use crutches and wear a boot or cast to protect the foot.  Eight weeks after the surgery the heel will have healed.

In conclusion

If possible, avoid rigid shoes with sturdy, stiff heels, or wear fitted padded socks when walking for extended periods of time.  With proper treatment, Haglund’s deformity will disappear.

If you or a loved one is suffering from foot or ankle pain, call Oasis today. We have several locations with first rate foot and ankle specialists accepting most insurance. Call today!

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