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Haglund's Deformity

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Q & A


What is Haglund's Deformity?

Haglund's Deformity is a bony enlargement of the back of the heel bone. Sometimes it's called “pump bump” because the deformity often occurs in women who wear pumps.


The shape of your foot can contribute to the development of Haglund's Deformity. If you have high arches, a tight Achilles tendon, or a tendency to walk on the outside of your feet, you're more likely to develop Haglund's Deformity than other people. Wearing shoes with a firm, rigid back place a lot of pressure on the bony prominence and may also contribute to the development of Haglund's Deformity.

Untreated Haglund’s deformity can lead to bursitis, which is an inflammation of the fluid-filled sac that separates the tendon from the bone. When the heel becomes inflamed, it can calcify the heel bone, causing a bump to become more prominent–and quite painful. As the condition goes untreated, the pain can become more noticeable while affecting basic foot function.


Haglund’s deformity is typically very painful—especially in the area where the growth is located on the heel.

Some of the other common symptoms of Haglund’s deformity include:​

  • Enlarged bony prominence on the back of the heel

  • Severe pain in the heel

  • Swelling in the heel

  • Redness or tenderness near the inflamed area

  • Blisters on your heels as a result of shoes rubbing against the bump


Pay attention to these symptoms, and contact Dr. Audris Tien, our podiatrist in Orange County, CA for further care.


Diagnosis and Treatment

Dr. Tien, the leading foot and ankle specialist in Orange County, may be able to diagnose this condition based on the appearance of your heel. However, some cases require further diagnostic and imaging tests to confirm the diagnosis.

Treating Haglund’s deformity involves relieving pressure from the heel bone. This can be accomplished surgically or non-surgically but will be determined by the severity of your symptoms. For mild to moderate Haglund’s deformity, the following non-surgical treatments may be successful:

  • Shoe modification

  • Custom orthotics

  • Heel pads or cushions

  • Medication- Topical anti-inflammatory medication, applied directly to the heel, may provide pain relief. Oral anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) can help as well.

  • Immobilization- If the area is extremely inflamed, a custom-made soft cast or walking boot may be used to immobilize the area and allow the inflamed area to calm down. 


If non-surgical options are ineffective, Dr. Tien may recommend a surgical procedure to relieve pressure from the heel bone. This can be done by removing excess bone from the heel or smoothing existing bone. These procedures are very effective in relieving pressure from the bone and surrounding soft tissues.


Avoid shoes with rigid backs. If you have a high arch or tight Achilles tendon, wearing appropriate shoe inserts and/or adequately stretching the Achilles tendon can help prevent the development of Haglund's Deformity.

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