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Haglunds Deformity Inflammation That Causes Foot Pain

healthy feetAlthough Haglund's Deformity is most often seen on young women who frequently wear high-heeled pumps, it is an ailment that can actually occur on anyone’s feet.

For those of you who are not familiar with the term, Haglund's Deformity, which is sometimes referred to as "pump bump,” is an ailment that causes a bony enlargement to grow on the back of your foot’s heel. 

In many cases, Haglunds Deformity can lead to bursitis, which is a very painful inflammation of the foot’s bursa, which is a sac that is filled with fluid and is located between bone and tendon.

In the case of Haglunds Deformity, the soft tissue that is located near your Achilles tendon comes to be irritated, usually because the bony enlargement has the tendency to rub against your shoes.

This is why many young women who often wear high-heeled pumps are often plagued with Haglunds Deformity, because that type of shoe has a rigid back that can rub against and aggravate the enlargement while the woman is walking. Although it may seem odd, Haglunds Deformity can actually, in some cases, be considered hereditary.

For some, they can inherit a certain foot structure type that allows them to be more susceptible to developing the condition.

One example of this is a person who has high arches. If you have high arches, your heel bone is usually tilted back towards your Achilles tendon. Because of this, the top portion of your heel bone can rub on the tendon.

The constant irritation will eventually lead to an inflamed bursa and a bony protrusion.

Those with a tight Achilles tendon can feel pain from compression of the bursa. Flexible tendons create less pressure.

Haglund’s Deformity Lastly, if you have the tendency to step down on the outside of your heel when you walk, then the outer edges of your shoe’s sole can wear down, causing your heel to rotate towards the inside, therefore causing your heel bone to grind against the tendon. A bursa is formed to protect the tendon, which will eventually become painful.

If you feel you may have Haglunds Deformity, there are a few signs you can look for:

You notice a pronounced bump on the back of either heel.

Pain occurs in the area in which the Achilles tendon meets your heel.

The back of your heel is swollen.

You notice redness in the area.

The best way to know for sure if you have Haglunds Deformity is to see your doctor, who will in turn refer you to a ankle and foot surgeon. The surgeon will look at your foot and also order x-rays.

Haglund’s Deformity can be treated either surgically or non-surgically.
Those who can partake in the non-surgical approach will have several options, including:

Have medication given to reduce the inflammation and pain.

Ice the area.

Be instructed to do stretching exercises.

Be instructed to use heel lifts, heel pads, orthotic devices, or wear a different type of shoe.

Be sent for physical therapy.

Rest to reduce your symptoms.

Surgery can occur if the non-surgical approaches don’t work. At this point, the surgeon will tell you which type of procedure is best for you and how to best care for your heels after the surgery.

To prevent Haglund’s Deformity, make sure to wear shoes that don’t rub against your heel, use orthotic devices and/or arch supports, stretch to keep your Achilles tendon flexible, and, if you run, do not do so uphill or on hard surfaces. 

 

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