What is a Haglund’s Deformity? 

Haglund’s deformity is a bony enlargement at the back of the heel. This causes irritation when the soft tissue is irritated by shoes rubbing on the bone. This can lead to inflammation of the fluid sack (bursa) that protects the Achilles tendon from rubbing against the bone.

Causes of Haglund’s Deformity

The deformity is called “pump bump” due to the back of pump-style shoes creating irritation and pressure that irritates the bone when walking. Any shoes with a hardback may cause a similar irritation. The cause of the deformity can be genetic, or it can be the way your foot has formed or is positioned. Increased body weight, improper shoes, tightness in your calf muscles and Achilles tendon, and injuries that change foot function are all factors that may cause or contribute to Haglund’s deformity.

Conservative Treatment of Haglund’s Deformity 

  • Activity modification. An initial change to your exercise regime or daily activities may be needed to avoid the condition getting worse. 
  • Increase in ankle range. Poor ankle range can be a common mechanism contributing to further irritation.
  • Heat or Ice.  This condition may respond better to either heat or ice. Try heat prior to exercise and Ice afterwards.
  • Anti-inflammatory. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin, will help with pain and swelling as per GP instructions.
  • Padding. Padding techniques can be used to offload the direct pressure over your Haglund’s bump.
  • Adequate footwear. Supportive and appropriate footwear is recommended to stabilise the heel to reduce the risk of irritation.
  • Footwear modifications. Modifying your footwear to reduce the direct pressure over your Haglund’s bump is also an option. We have the tools and skills to perform this for you.
  • Orthotic therapy: A custom orthotic device placed in the shoe can help address possible causative factors such as flat feet, in order to reduce the direct pressure over your Haglund’s bump.
  • Injection therapy. If conservative treatment is plateauing injection therapy may be considered for pain relief.
  • AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill. Continuation of training on the AlterG to decrease the load on the foot and its surrounding muscles whilst maintaining an exercise program.

Surgery for Haglund’s Deformity 

If non-surgical treatment does not provide adequate pain relief, surgery may be needed.