Haglund's Deformity (Retrocalcaneal Bursitis)

Haglund's deformity affects the soft tissues and bones in the heel. It is commonly known as a "pump bump" or retrocalcaneal bursitis. The deformity presents as a painful enlargement of the back of the heel bone that becomes irritated by shoe gear and exasperated when walking.

What You Need To Know About Haglund's Deformity

What Is Haglund's Deformity?

Haglund's deformity causes bone enlargement on the back of the heel that can aggravate the retrocalcaneal bursa, a fluid-filled sac located on the back of the heel between the Achilles tendon and the calcaneus. The bursa can become inflamed and swollen, a condition called bursitis.

Patients complain of heel pain that gets worse when wearing shoes and while walking when suffering from this condition. Haglund's deformity most commonly affects young women.

Finding Haglund's deformity treatment starts with a visit to Resurgens Foot & Ankle Center. Schedule an appointment at one of our Metro Atlanta Locations now!

What Causes Haglund's Deformity?

Haglund's deformity commonly develops from wearing shoes with rigid backs, such as pumps, men's dress shoes, and ice or roller skates, which put pressure on the back of the heel. This pressure can cause a bony bump to form on the calcaneus. This bump digs into the surrounding soft tissue, causing irritation and swelling in the bursa and other tissues, including the Achilles tendon.

People who have certain anatomical structures, such as a prominent bump underneath the Achilles tendon, high arches, a tight Achilles tendon, or other pre-existing abnormalities in foot structure, have an increased susceptibility to this condition.

Haglund's Deformity Symptoms

Symptoms of Haglund's Deformity vary based on the degree of irritation in the heel bone and whether or not bursitis develops. They can include:

  • Sensitivity in the heel area

  • Pain in the Achilles tendon while walking

  • Pain that worsens when walking (especially in pumps or dress shoes)

  • Redness and swelling of the heel

  • A bump on the heel

  • Callusing, bruising, or blistering of the heel

How is Haglund's Deformity Diagnosed?

Resurgens Orthopaedics specializes in restoring motion and mobility to our patients with care and precision. In cases of Haglund's Deformity, patients undergo an examination and consultation with one of our skilled physicians. The physician will inquire about your medical history, any pre-existing foot issues, and the intensity of pain you are experiencing in your heel bone and tissues.

After examining your foot and evaluating your stride, the physician typically recommends imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRIs, to best diagnose your condition and treatment.

Haglund's Deformity Treatment

Treatment of Haglund's Deformity depends on the severity and cause of the condition. In mild cases, this inflammation and projection of the bone at the back of the heel can be relieved with ice, compression, change of shoe gear, Achilles heel pads, or orthotics. In more severe cases, a cast or surgery may be recommended.

Non-Surgical Treatment

In minor cases of Haglund's Deformity, the physicians and patient can work together to address the swelling of the bursa and soft tissue with the help of:

  • Rest: Limiting the use of your heel will relieve swelling and pain in the soft tissue and bursa.

  • Ice and compressions: These work together to alleviate swelling and pain in the heel.

  • Medication: Anti-inflammatory medicine and painkillers may be prescribed to reduce discomfort in the heel.

  • Physical therapy and exercises: Working with a therapist to stretch the Achilles tendon can help relieve agitation in the heel.

  • Orthotics: Soft padding and shoewear with added arch support can help keep the foot properly aligned, easing the pressure placed on your heel.

Surgical Treatment

While most cases of Haglund's Deformity respond to non-surgical treatment, severe cases involving bone protrusion or enlargement may require a surgical procedure. Surgery involves the repair of the Achilles tendinitis or tendinosis and the removal of the bony lump. Resurgens Orthopaedics offers top-class surgical accommodations to patients suffering from Haglund's Deformity, so you can rest assured that our staff will take great care in restoring comfort and mobility to your heel.

For more information about Haglund's Deformity and to schedule a consultation, contact Resurgens Foot & Ankle Center!

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