Haglund's Deformity: Getting Help for Heel Bumps
You experience a lot of bumps in the course of your lifetime. There are baby bumps that bring new joy into your life, bumps on the head when your toddler trips and falls, bumps in the road that harm your car tires, even goose bumps on your skin when something thrills or chills you. Haglund’s deformity is a bump on your heel that does nothing much for you except cause discomfort.
Pump Bumps: Another Name for Pain
There are several conditions that can put you at risk for developing this heel problem and most of them are inherited characteristics. If you have high arches, if your Achilles tendon is normally tight, and if your gait involves walking on the outer edge of your heel, you are more likely to form a bump on the back of your calcaneus—the heel bone. Aggravate any of these characteristics with shoes or skates that have hard, rigid backs and the risk increases. Women’s high heeled pumps are a double problem: they have rigid backs, plus they hold your foot in a position that shortens your Achilles tendon, making it even tighter.
Tendons pull against the bones where they are attached. If the Achilles is too tight, or if you run on hard surfaces or up hills, the constant jarring can cause a spur to form on the back of the heel bone. (The same thing can happen under your heel when the plantar fascia pulls against the calcaneus.) Spurs may not be painful in themselves, but they can rub against the surrounding tissue and inflame the protective bursa (fluid sac) that cushions the tendon and bone. The inflammation and swelling can cause pressure that can be painful enough.
Treating Haglund’s Deformity
If you notice a bump on the back of your heel, pain in the area when you wear certain shoes, or discomfort after certain activities, visit The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic and let our expert staff determine the cause. We can use X-rays to see the exact bone structure, which helps us decide the best treatment options. Indeed, there are many conservative ways to treat pump bump.
We may begin by recommending an oral anti-inflammatory pain reliever and the application of ice to the area a few minutes at a time, until the swelling and pain subside. If your heel cord is tight, we can show you exercises that will stretch it out. Heel lifts, heel pads, and shoe modifications can all help relieve your pain. We can also design custom orthotics—shoe supports made especially for your feet—to help correct imbalance and control the way your foot moves. In some cases, we may even recommend immobilizing the foot for a while until the tissues have had a chance to heal properly.
Find Help in Sammamish
If your Haglund’s deformity hasn’t responded to non-invasive treatments, surgery may be necessary to correct it and alleviate your pain. Dr. Howard Schaengold will provide caring, expert treatment all through the procedure. Our post-surgery guidelines for care will soon have you walking without heel pain again. Once you are healed, you will want to do stretches to keep the Achilles relaxed and flexible, in order to prevent a recurrence of the problem. Visit our online store to find other products that may help relieve pain from your pump bump.
Call The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic at (425) 868-3338 and set up a consultation at our Sammamish office for all your podiatric concerns. We also serve patients from Issaquah, Bellevue, Redmond, Snowqualmie, North Bend, and Fall City. With over 23 years of experience, we know how to treat you right!