Haglund's Deformity

Haglunds Deformity

What is Haglund's Deformity?

Haglund's Deformity, or retrocalcaneal exostosis, is an abnormality of the bone in the back of the heel. Patients diagnosed with Haglund's Deformity experience an enlargement in the bony part of the heel where the Achilles tendon is inserted. It is also commonly referred to as Mulholland deformity or "pump bump" as it affects patients that regularly wear high heels.

Irritation to the soft tissues, as well as bursitis, surrounding this bump is a common symptom of Haglund's Deformity, especially when improperly sized footwear is worn.

What Are the Causes of Haglund's Deformity?

There are several different causes for Haglund's Deformity, including:

  • tight Achilles tendons
  • high arches in your feet
  • tight or poorly fitted footwear
  • walking on the outside of your heels
  • genetics—some patients are genetically predisposed to Haglund's Deformity developing on the back of the heels in one or both feet

What Are the Symptoms of Haglund's Deformity?

Common symptoms of Haglund's Deformity include:

  • bony protrusion located at the back of the heel
  • heel pain
  • bursitis—inflammation of the bursa surrounding the Achilles tendon
  • inflammation and injury to the Achilles tendon
  • blisters

What to Expect During Haglund's Deformity Treatment at the Podiatrist

For some patients, no symptoms of pain or discomfort may be felt from their Haglund's Deformity. Others, however, may experience heel pain, inflammation, and the chronic occurrence of blisters that may be painful. If you have diabetes, it's best to go to a podiatrist for regular checkups.

Based on the severity of your symptoms of Haglund's Deformity, as well as your lifestyle, a podiatrist can formulate a treatment plan that's personalized just for you. This can include:

  • cortisone injections to help reduce inflammation
  • physical therapy and regular stretching
  • NSAIDs and other medications to manage pain and swelling
  • heel pads and lifts
  • proper footwear, including the fitting of orthotics
  • surgery—only if other forms of treatment and preventative measures have failed

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