Haglund’s deformity is a bony enlargement on the back of the heel. When the enlarged area rubs against footwear it can lead to painful blisters or bursitis as the soft tissue in the nearby Achilles tendon becomes irritated.
Symptoms include redness, blisters, or a noticeable bump or swelling on the back of heel and pain in the area where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel. Often this bump makes wearing certain types of shoes uncomfortable.
Any tight-fitting shoe that rubs against the back of the heel can contribute to the problem. Patients with a type of flatfoot deformity, pronation, can face increased risk. Sometimes having a high arch or tight calf muscle, being overweight, or having a slightly larger heel bone can cause Haglund’s deformity.
When abnormal tension is placed on the back of the foot, the tendon that attaches to the ankle protects itself by forming a bursa, a fluid-filled sac between the tendon and bone, which can become inflamed and tender. The resulting medical issue, bursitis, is a painful inflammation of the bursa. Walking on the outside of the heel may cause Haglund's deformity. It can produce wear on the outer edge of the sole of the shoe, causing the heel to rotate inward, resulting in a grinding of the heel bone against the tendon.
Walking without shoes can take the pressure off the affected area as will wearing shoes that are backless or have soft backs to avoid or minimize irritation. Anti-inflammatory medications or a topical pain reliever may help reduce the pain and inflammation. Icing and stretching exercises can help relieve tension from the Achilles tendon. Orthotic options including heel lifts and custom arch supports may help decrease the pressure on the heel. A podiatrist or physical therapist can help by recommending appropriate stretching exercises. Finally, surgery may be an option when other treatments are not effective.
The Concierge Podiatry Advantage
At Concierge Podiatry we treat Haglund's deformity with a variety of options ranging from placing a special protective cover over the enlargement to laser therapy or a new type of specialized orthotics support. If surgery is required we have devised a procedure that corrects the problem and keeps it from recurring. We take the time needed to diagnose and explain any treatment options before beginning any course of treatment.
- Contact Concierge Podiatry for an appointment
- Learn more about treatment options often used to treat this issue