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What Is That Painful Bump on the Back of My Heel?

Haglunds DeformityDo you have a bump on the back of your foot that is accompanied by pain, redness and/or swelling? It could be Haglund’s deformity, a bony enlargement also known as “pump bump,” and one of the most common causes of heel pain. Although there isn’t one clear cause of Haglund’s deformity, there are many things that can contribute to its development such as:

  • The shape of your foot (e.g. if you have high arches)
  • Having a tendency to walk on the outside of your feet
  • Wearing shoes with a rigid back (e.g. pumps or other dress shoes)

Once the bony enlargement appears, it is very likely that a bursa will form, especially if you tend to wear shoes that put undue pressure on the bone. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that provides a cushion between bones, joints, muscles and tendons. If the bursa becomes inflamed, due to the shoe rubbing up against it, it can make the bump on your heel larger and lead to increased swelling and pain.

How Is Haglund’s Deformity Diagnosed and Treated?

If you have a bump on the back of your foot and persistent heel pain, you should see a foot doctor. A podiatrist will perform a complete foot exam and may order X-rays to more carefully evaluate your foot structure. A personalized treatment plan will be developed based on the diagnosis and the severity of your condition. Non-surgical treatment options include:

  • Wearing heel pads or arch supports
  • Wearing shoes with opens backs
  • Custom orthotics
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Icing the bump to reduce swelling
  • Physical therapy
  • Wearing a boot or cast to immobilize the foot

If your symptoms do not get better with non-surgical treatment, your podiatrist may recommend surgery to remove excess bone from the heel or reshape the heel bone. For more information about foot surgery for Haglund’s deformity, call us at 210-479-3233 to schedule an appointment with a board certified podiatrist.

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