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What Is Haglund’s Deformity?

Haglund’s deformity is a painful condition caused by an enlarged bone at the back of the heel. Oftentimes, this condition affects individuals who have a naturally prominent heel bone. The soft tissues in the heel can become squeezed in between a protruding heel bone and the back of a shoe. Over time, the resulting irritation can cause the skin in the area to thicken and eventually form a callous, which can further intensify the pressure on the heel.

What does Haglund’s deformity feel like?

The primary symptom of Haglund’s deformity is pain at the back of the heel. Additionally, there are small sacs of fluid (bursa) located nearby that allow the Achilles tendon to slide smoothly against the heel bone during movement. These bursa can become swollen and inflamed as well, leading to the development of another painful condition known as bursitis. Usually, a prominent heel bone does not interfere with foot function, aside from the pain that occurs when the area is inflamed.

What can be done for Haglund’s deformity?

Because the discomfort results from wearing shoes, one way to relieve pressure on the back of the heel is to wear clogs or other shoes with no backs. Another option is to place a cushioning pad over the back of the heel. A physician may recommend staying out of shoes as much as possible, which can help reduce the inflammation and bursitis caused by Haglund’s deformity.

If the pain is severe and does not respond to conservative treatment, a surgical procedure may be recommended to reduce the prominence of the heel bone. After the source of the pressure is removed, the thickened and inflamed soft tissues should gradually return to their normal size.

At Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, Texas, our foot and ankle specialists are experienced in treating Haglund’s deformity. Because these orthopedists focus their practice exclusively on foot and ankle conditions, they can expertly diagnose your symptoms and help you find an effective way to manage them.

If you ultimately decide to have surgery to address your Haglund’s deformity, you can feel confident in our board-certified and double-board-certified orthopedic surgeons, who work hand-in-hand with our other providers, including physical therapists, to provide the most comprehensive foot and ankle care in the Houston, TX, area. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Advanced Orthopaedics today.