What’s that Bump on the Back of Your Heel?

A bony bump sticking out from the back of the heel can be debilitating. Runners can’t run, dancers are forced to sit backstage, and just about anyone has a hard time keeping a shoe on without pain.

That noticeable bump on the back of your heel is what we call Haglund’s deformity. Haglund’s deformity is characterized by swelling, redness, and pain around the bumpy area. There are a number of reasons why these painful bumps appear:

  1. The anatomy of your particular foot: you tend to walk on the outside of your foot, you have high arches or a naturally tight Achilles tendon.
  2. You spend a lot of time in shoes with a rigid back – including work boots and even ice skates.
  3. You often wear high-heeled pumps. Because women who wear pumps are frequent victims of Haglund’s deformity, the condition is sometimes called “pump bump.”

It all starts with inflammation

When the soft tissues surrounding the back of the heel bone are continually irritated, they become inflamed, which can lead to bursitis. Bursitis is just another kind of inflammation – not of soft tissue, but of bursae – the fluid-filled sacs that protects certain parts of your foot from rubbing against each other. Inflamed tissue + an inflamed bursa at the back of the heel = the pain and swelling of Haglund’s deformity.

If you’ve got pump bump that won’t go away or gets bigger and bigger, make an appointment with expert podiatrists Heidi M. Christie, DPM or Chanda L. Day-Houts, DPM at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists. We’ll take a full medical history and examine your foot. If necessary, we can reveal structural issues contributing to the problem with x-rays or ultrasound, both performed right here in our office in Montgomery, AL.

Healing the heel

Treatment is going to depend on what our exam reveals and how bad your pain is. We may begin with anti-inflammatory medications, either applied directly to the heel or taken orally. Treatment methods then progress to

  • applying ice
  • wearing shoes with no back
  • immobilizing the heel with a soft cast or walking boot
  • wearing heel lifts, heel pads, arch supports, or custom orthotics to relieve pressure
  • a recommendation for surgery to correct the underlying bone structure

Don’t let an inflamed heel stop you from doing what you like. Contact us online or call us at (334) 396-3668 for thorough, expert management of Haglund’s deformity.