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853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA, 15301

Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
(724) 225-9469 - fax

A Pump Bump Problem

It is often said that we should not judge a book by its cover—meaning what is on the outside does not always reflect what is on the inside. If you have noticed some pain and redness on the outside of your heel, don’t just chalk it up to a long day on your feet or as something to just leave to heal on its own. A red swollen bump on your heel could be Haglund’s deformity and is indicative of something more going on under the surface.

The Pump Bump Explained

Haglund’s deformity has many names: pump bump, Mulholland’s deformity, retrocalcaneal bursitis, and posterior calcaneal tuberosity. It is most often called the “pump bump,” as high heeled shoes are often to blame for leading to this foot problem.

This deformity is simply a bony protrusion that forms at the back of the heel bone. The bump is often an inherited part of your foot structure but when it is met with repeated stress and pressure, problems can develop.

Having high arches, a tight Achilles tendon or underpronation (when you walk on the outside edge of your foot) can each add stress to the back of your heel and lead to this deformity as well. The reason high heels get a lot of blame is that the stiff heel cup tends to put a lot of pressure on the Achilles tendon and the heel bone. Over time, the tissues surrounding the bony enlargement become irritated, swollen and painful. You may see a visible red bump, and if you continue to wear problematic shoes, you could develop a callus on top of the bump as well.

Shoes and Exercises Can Relieve the Pressure

While you can’t trade out your foot structure for another, there are several steps you can take to alleviate your symptoms and prevent this deformity from becoming a painful problem. Dr. Philip Pinsker will be able to evaluate your feet and identify the reason why the deformity has occurred. We can then provide tailored treatment based on the extent of your condition.

Decreasing the inflammation is often the first step, which may require some rest and icing. We may recommend an anti-inflammatory medication as well to decrease inflammation. Second, your shoe choice will greatly impact the healing process. Open-backed shoes or a style with a soft heel cup will be helpful. Our patients often find relief using heel cups and pads that help distribute the pressure away from the bump.

Haglund’s deformity is also often linked with Achilles tendonitis, so certain stretches for this tendon may also be effective in relieving your symptoms. In more severe cases, immobilization in a cast or surgery to shave down the bump may be necessary to provide full relief of the pain and swelling.

Don’t Live With Pain—We Can Help

Too often we leave foot problems alone in the hopes they will just go away. If you have been living with a painful bump at the back of your heel, a quick visit to our office can help diagnose your condition and get you started on treatment that will prevent it from getting worse. Over time, Haglund’s deformity can become painful and impact your ability to be on your feet all day at work or stay active. Don’t let it get that far—contact Dr. Philip Pinsker for effective treatment to reduce your pain and prevent it from worsening. Call our Washington, PA office at (724) 225-7410 or request an appointment online.