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Do You Need Surgery for Haglund’s Deformity?

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Haglund’s deformity or “pump bump” is a bony bump that develops on the back of the heel bone. The bump is often accompanied by severe pain, redness of the inflamed area, and swelling in the bursa, with the latter being a fluid-filled sac between the tendon and heel bone.

What causes Haglund’s deformity?

The most common cause of Haglund’s deformity is persistent pressure on the backs of the heels. Such pressure can be caused by wearing shoes that are too tight or stiff in the heel. High heels or pumps often cause Haglund’s deformity, which is why the condition is sometimes nicknamed “pump bump.”

The rigid shoes can rub against the back of the heel and cause bursitis or an inflammation of the bursa. That inflammation causes calcium to accumulate on the heel bone, so the bump gets bigger and more painful.

The risk of developing Haglund’s deformity increases if a person has tight Achilles tendons, high arches or a tendency to walk on the outside of their heel.

How can it be treated?

There are several home remedies that the doctor may suggest the patient try first. Switching shoes to open-heeled models can work if you do not have any other foot problems. It is not recommended, however, if you also have foot pain, bunions or tendonitis.

You can put ice on the bump for 20 to 40 minutes every day to relieve swelling. Additionally, you can take pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen. A soft-tissue massage may help.

If the pain persists or the bump gets bigger, you should see an Orange County podiatrist. They will recommend such non-invasive treatments as heel pads or orthotics. If the heel is very inflamed, the doctor may recommend a special boot or soft cast to immobilize the foot and let it heal. If nothing works, the podiatrist will operate on the foot.

What does the surgery involve?

The podiatrist will remove the excess heel bone. They will reshape the remainder so it will appear normal. If your Achilles tendon has been damaged, they will fix that during the procedure.

It will take around eight weeks to recover from the surgery. You will wear a cast or boot to protect your foot. You will likely need to get your foot X-rayed during follow-up visits so the podiatrist can see how well it is healing.

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