Bump On Your Heel? You May Have Haglund's Deformity

Have you noticed a hard bump on the back of your heel bone? Maybe this is present on both of your feet, or perhaps you only see it on one. Usually, the bump starts off rather small and then grows over time, reaching the size of a marble at its biggest. Chances are, you have what is called Haglund's deformity. It's more common than you think, and while it can be uncomfortable and annoying, it's not a reason to panic or rush to the emergency room. Here's a closer look at the condition.

What causes Haglund's Deformity?

The most common cause of this condition is wearing high heels that put extra pressure on the back of your foot. You may also develop the deformity from rigid, flat dress shoes with short backs that dig into your heels. Certain people are more prone to Haglund's Deformity than others--namely, those with high arches and tight Achilles tendons. In fact, it is commonly seen in runners who wear heels to work. The running tightens the Achilles, and then the heel later digs into the tight Achilles.

What problems does Haglund's Deformity cause?

Most patients only experience slight discomfort when their shoes press into the bony prominence. Blisters may also form on and around the bump. Over time, it becomes harder and harder to find shoes that fit over the bump. This is why it's so important to start treating and managing the condition early on, rather than waiting until the growth gets very large.

How is Haglund's Deformity treated?

Your best bet is to visit a podiatrist, like Mid Nebraska Foot Clinic. They can look over the shoes you're currently wearing and analyze their fit. Then, based on their observations, they can recommend other shoes that won't put pressure in the same areas. Switching to such shoes will keep the growth from getting any worse. Sometimes, your podiatrist may also recommend specialized orthotics to add to your shoe to further alter their fit.

Your podiatrist may also recommend special pads to place over the bony growth itself. These will help keep it from rubbing on your shoes and causing blisters. Taking NSAIDS, like ibuprofen, is helpful if your growth ever becomes sore and sensitive from rubbing on your shoes.

In the most serious of cases, your podiatrist may recommend surgery to remove the growth. They will conduct a procedure to re-shape your heel bone, and when you're healed, you'll be able to wear shoes comfortably again.