Treating “Pump Bumps” On Your Heel
A number foot conditions that we treat develop as a result of ill-fitting shoes, and the condition we are going to spotlight today is no different. A “pump bump,” commonly referred to as Haglund’s deformity in the medical community, is a condition that involves the development of a bony prominence on the back of your heel. It’s more common in women who wear high heels on a regular basis, but it’s also common in athletes that wear tight fitting shoes, like football and soccer players. Below, we take a closer look at the condition and explain how we can help you treat it.
The Causes and Symptoms Of Haglund’s Deformity
As we alluded to in the introduction, regularly wearing tight or ill-fitting shoes is the most common contributing factor to the development of Haglund's deformity. However, there are other factors that can contribute to pump bump onset. If you have high arches, a tight Achilles tendon or have a gait that puts more pressure on the outside of your heel, you may be more likely to suffer from Haglund’s deformity.
Symptoms of the condition include:
- The development of a bony bump on the back of your heel
- Pain in the area where your Achilles tendon attaches to your heel
- Localized swelling and tenderness
- Redness in the area
Diagnosing and Treating Haglund’s Deformity
It may seem like an easy condition to diagnose, but pain, swelling and inflammation in the region can easily be misclassified as Achilles tendonitis or a similar issue. That’s why it’s so important to visit a foot specialist if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above. Your foot specialist will begin by asking questions about your pain and conduct a physical exam. From there, they will confirm their suspicions with an imaging test like an X-ray to better examine the heel bone. An x-ray can also help the doctor determine how to best treat the unique deformity.
The goal of treatment for Haglund’s deformity typically focuses on pain relief and taking pressure off of the heel, which can help to control other issues like swelling and inflammation. Some nonsurgical interventions that may be recommended include changing into open back shoes or more comfortably-fitting shoes, taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, regularly icing the area to help control swelling and wearing a custom orthotic to help reshape the foot and take pressure off the area. Some more hands-on treatments may also include soft tissue massage and targeted ultrasound therapy.
In the event that the bony prominence is severe or causing major pain that is unlikely to respond to conservative options, surgery may be ordered. During the operation, your surgeon will work to remove the excess bone from the heel area and ensure that stability has not been compromised. The surgeon may also need to address the Achilles tendon if the Haglund’s deformity has damaged the tendon, but this is rare in mild or moderate cases. After surgery, you’ll be placed in a walking boot or protective cast to help keep pressure off the area while it heals. While you won’t need the walking boot for the entire time period, it usually takes about eight weeks to make a full recovery following surgery to address a pump bump.
So if it’s getting harder or more uncomfortable to fit your feet in your shoes, or you’ve noticed a bump forming on the back of your heel, reach out to the talented team of specialists at The Centers For Advanced Orthopaedics today to see what we can do for you. The sooner you treat the bony development, the more successful less invasive treatments will be. For more information, contact our office today.