Unless you’re choosing your shoes for comfort and support, your favorite shoe is probably part of the reason you’ll be seeing your ankle and foot specialist. The majority of the conditions that these specialists tend to see patients for are shoes that don’t fit properly or put pressure on certain points of the foot. The condition we’re talking about today is one of those, and it’s known as Haglund’s Deformity.
An Overview Of Haglund’s Deformity And Who Gets It
Haglund’s Deformity is a condition mostly seen in women who frequently wear high heels, though it will occasionally make an appearance in athletes as well. The primary cause is pressure put on the heel by a tight fit. The condition is often noticed due to the tenderness and swelling that occurs at the heel where it forms. Other indications of the presence of this condition include:
- A bony bump that forms on the back part of the foot or heel
- Localized pain centered on the Achilles tendon attachment point in the heel
- Redness in the heel accompanied by these other symptoms
While the diagnosis may seem simple, there are multiple conditions that present with these same symptoms, among them Achilles tendonitis. This makes it essential that you make contact with your foot specialist in the event you start experiencing symptoms like the above. This will permit your specialist to assess your condition and order imaging if needed. An X-Ray will reveal any protuberances that appear on the heel bone and give your foot specialist the information they need to begin treatment.
How Haglund’s Deformity Is Treated
Treatment for this condition varies based on the severity, but your specialist will typically opt for a more conservative approach before resorting to surgery. An example of a non-invasive approach to treating this condition would be changing your choice of footwear and prescribing anti-inflammatory aids. You may also be advised to put ice on the area when your symptoms flare-up. In cases where more aggressive treatment is needed, your foot specialist may order custom-fitted orthotic devices to help relieve pressure to the area. Ultrasound therapy is another effective treatment option.
When all these options are exhausted, your specialist may suggest that surgery be used to correct the deformation of your heel. This surgery involves the surgical removal of excess bone that’s accumulated while being careful not to impede the integrity or support the heel provides. In some cases, this condition will have advanced enough that damage to the Achilles tendon has occurred. This isn’t common in mild forms, but in severe cases, it’s entirely possible.
Recovery from this surgery involves wearing a protective cast or a walking boot to keep pressure off the area while it heals. The recovery period usually takes a full eight weeks, but the boot will be removed after a week or so. If you have more questions about this condition and how it can be treated, reach out to your foot and ankle specialist for treatment today!