Now that fall is finally here, we at Long Island Foot & Ankle Group, PC are seeing more patients complaining of pain at the back of heel. Haglund’s Deformity, more commonly called “Pump Bump,” is a condition that is particularly aggravated by the rigid backs of pump-style shoes. That’s because it is characterized by a bony enlargement at the back of the heel that hits the top of shoe when you walk. Other symptoms of Haglund’s Deformity include:
Swelling at the back of the heel
Pain where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel
Because Haglund’s Deformity is primarily the result of structural issues in the foot (such as high arches, a tight Achilles tendon or the tendency to walk on the outside of your heel), most of the treatment choices are aimed at relieving pain and changing the position of the foot. Once our foot and ankle surgeons Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight or Dr. Marzana Mleczko confirm a diagnosis of Haglund’s Deformity, they may recommend one or more of the following:
1. Icing—at the end of the day if the bump is sore, you can apply ice (20 minutes on, 40 minutes off). This will also reduce the swelling.
2. Medication—nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be recommended.
3. Heel pads—placed inside your shoes, these can add a layer of cushioning to lessen pain and irritation.
4. Heel lifts—these can be used to counteract high arches.
5. Shoe choice—look for shoes made of soft materials or go backless as long as the weather permits (and if the you have no other podiatric conditions that may be affected by backless shoes).
6. Custom orthotic—the foot doctor may prescribe an orthotic device to wear in your shoe to help redistribute pressure away from the heel or change the motion of your foot.
7. Physical therapy.
8. Exercise—if your pump bump is caused by a tight Achilles tendon, exercises that stretch the heel cord can be helpful.
9. Immobilization—in cases where the inflammation is extreme, a soft cast or walking boot may be used to allow healing to occur.
10. Surgery—if non-invasive measures do not relieve symptoms, surgery to correct the defect may be the only option.