What is Haglund's Deformity?
Haglund’s deformity is a bony enlargement of the back of the heel bone that’s also known as “pump bump” because of the pump-style shoes that many women wear. The rigid backs of these shoes often create pressure that can lead to pain and irritation of the heel, and women who wear pumps are the most common suffers of this specific medical condition.
Ice skaters can also develop this condition as they wear footwear with rigid backs, and this condition can also be genetic. In addition, if you have a tight Achilles tendon, are apt to walk on the outside of your fee or have high arches, you are more likely to develop Haglund’s deformity than are other people. This condition can be extremely painful.
What are Some of the Symptoms of Haglund’s Deformity?
There are a number of symptoms that point to the presence of Haglund’s deformity. These symptoms include:
- An enlargement of the bone on the back of the heel where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel. The bump is usually very painful at the back of the heel - around the Achilles tendon - especially when tight shoes are worn. This hard lump gradually develops over time.
- Blisters developing on the heel as a result of your shoes rubbing against the bump on the back of your heel bone.
- A great deal of swelling around the back of the heel.
- The back of the heel becoming red due to the inflammation of the bursa.
- A tightness on the back of the heel while walking or running.
What are Some Ways to Treat Haglund’s Deformity?
There are some very effective ways to treat Haglund’s deformity. These options include:
- Purchasing heel pads that can be put on the back of your shoes. These heel pads may relieve and distribute some of the pressure on your heels.
- Implementing the “RICE” plan, which is the standard plan for many injuries. You should: Take a break from all activity; apply ice or a cold pack for 10 to 20 minutes three or more times a day; wrap a an elastic bandage around your heel in order to decrease the swelling; and elevate the injured area in order to minimize swelling.
- Wearing backless, soft-backed shoes or go barefoot in order to reduce the friction around the area of the heel to prevent “pump bump.”
- Doing calf stretches in order to reduce the tightness and tension in the Achilles tendon and to prevent Haglund’s deformity.
- Taking NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications) that can reduce the pain and inflammation connected with Haglund’s deformity.
You May Need to Visit Your Podiatrist
At some point, if your foot pain is not improving, you may have to pay a visit to your podiatrist. He or she will do a thorough examination of your feet, take a complete medical history, and x-rays, an MRI or ultrasound may be ordered as well. Other treatment may include:
- Topical anti-inflammatory medication applied directly to the heel.
- A custom-made soft cast or walking boot, which may be used to immobilize the area and allow it to heal.
- Physical therapy in the form of ultrasound, which may help to reduce the inflammation associated with bursitis.
- Surgery, which may be performed if no non-surgical methods provide adequate relief.
What are Some Steps you can Take to Prevent Haglund’s Deformity?
There are various steps you can take to prevent Haglund’s deformity. They include:
- Avoiding shoes with rigid backs, which can lead to Haglund’s deformity.
- Wearing comfortable shoes with arch supports.
- Wearing appropriate shoe inserts and/or stretching the Achilles tendon, especially if you have a high arch or a tight Achilles tendon.
- Avoiding running on hard surfaces and running on flat surfaces rather than going uphill.
- Doing calf stretches before and after exercising.