| Understanding Haglund’s Deformity
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Understanding Haglund’s Deformity

Understanding Haglund’s Deformity

Have you ever noticed a bump on the back of your heel that makes walking and running painful at times?  If so, you may be suffering from Haglund’s deformity.  Haglund’s deformity occurs when a bony enlargement occurs on the back of the heel.  While it is not a life-threatening ailment, Haglund’s deformity can stop people from living their normal lives due to pain.  This, in turn, decreases the quality of life and becomes a problem that needs to be fixed.  Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments available for those suffering from Haglund’s deformity.

Most people who have Haglund’s deformity suffer from a few common symptoms associated with the condition.  The most telling sign is a bump on the back of the heel.  Other symptoms include pain in the area where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel, swelling in the back of the heel, and redness near the inflamed tissue on the heel.  There are a few causes for Haglund’s deformity.  It is nicknamed the “pump bump” because women’s pumps put pressure on the area, often increasing the swelling.  However, any shoe that is rigid and tight on the back of the heel is at risk of causing problems.  There is also thought to be a genetic component to the condition.  For example, people who have high arches, tight Achilles tendons, or a tendency to walk improperly are at higher risk for developing the condition.

After being diagnosed with Haglund’s deformity, it is ideal to try to treat the condition without surgery.  The main goal of nonsurgical treatment is reducing inflammation.  This is where non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and ice come into play.  Patients may also do exercises to help relieve tension from the Achilles tendon, insert heel pads into their shoes to add extra cushioning, undergo physical therapy and find orthotics that are made specifically for their foot shape.  In some cases, immobilization may be necessary.  Unfortunately, these conservative measures are not enough for all patients.  Some patients may require surgery that may include fusion of bones, tendon surgery, metatarsal surgery, or heel surgery.  In the most severe cases, extensive reconstruction of the foot may be necessary.  While surgery can be helpful, it should be avoided if possible due to the normal risks of surgery and a long healing period.

Haglund’s deformity can cause a lot of pain and discomfort for the affected person.  It is difficult to tell what exactly causes the condition, which can make it difficult to prevent.  However, wearing proper-fitting shoes with appropriate cushions can greatly help lessen the inflammation from Haglund’s deformity.  There are a variety of conservative treatments that people suffering from the condition can use to reduce symptoms.  It does take a bit of trial and error.  However, with the guidance of a physician, the right combination of treatments is typically found.  But, if conservative treatments are not enough, surgery may be required.  There are a variety of different surgeries that can be performed depending on the cause of Haglund’s deformity in the patient.  At the end of the day, if you work with a knowledgeable orthopedic surgeon, you should be able to find an adequate solution that can improve your quality of life.

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