Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: Haglund's deformity

By Dr. Rion Berg
February 23, 2016
Category: foot conditions

You're ready for a night out on the town. As you put on your favorite heels you remember that the bump on the back of your heel keeps getting larger and more painful. You settle for a pair of flat shoes that won't aggravate it.

What is that weird bump? Known as Haglund's deformity this often painful and strange protrusion is caused by wearing rigid pump-style shoes, as its common name "pump bump" implies.


While any rigid style shoes can bring on and aggravate the bump, certain foot types will make it more likely for Haglund's deformity to develop.


In addition to the bump other symptoms are:

  • swelling in the heel

  • redness or tenderness near the inflamed area

  • moderate to severe pain

Left untreated Haglund's deformity can lead to bursitis ( a fluid-filled sac between the tendon and the bone).

Diagnosis and Treatment

At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City Dr. Berg will examine your feet and very likely take an X-ray to ensure a proper diagnosis and to review the structure of the heel bone.

Conservative treatment of this condition is focused on getting you out of pain by relieving pressure on the heel bone and reducing the inflammation. The potential treatments most often used are:

  • Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications

  • Ice

  • Shoes that won't further irritate the heel bone such backless shoes or soft backed shoes

  • Heel lifts or heel pads

  • Prescriptive orthotics

  • Ultrasound

These solutions can be a tremendous help in treating this condition, however if none of this options work, surgery can be done that removes excess bone from the heel. Once the source of the pressure is removed the soft tissue surrounding the bone will return to normal.

If your bony protrusion is causing problems, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

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Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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If you’re like most of my female patients who wear high heels, you absolutely love them. No matter how much I might cajole, argue, and prod you to wear something more sensible you just aren’t going to listen to me.

I understand. I have a daughter who works at Nordstrom and even she doesn’t listen to me when it comes to tossing out her 3 inch heels for something more reasonable.

As your Seattle podiatrist, you've forced my hand. Here are some high heel hints I’m only giving out under duress.

The Height or Pitch

The higher the heel the more pressure your foot will apply to the ball of your foot and your toes. So if you buy heels keep this in mind, particularly if you already have problems with bunions or ingrown toenails. The higher the heel the more likely you will worsen these conditions.

Assess Your Feet

Take an honest appraisal of your feet. If you have wider feet or toes that don’t conform to a pointy shoe, look for a high heel that is not that pointy. If you do have a foot condition, high heels probably aren't worth it.

Buy and Try at Home

Those terrific looking shoes may feel OK in the store but once you get outside and walk around for an hour you may find out that they aren’t so comfortable after all. Find out the store’s return policy. Some will let you return shoes if you wear them outside but many don’t.

Correct Size

Make sure the salesperson measures your feet. Although this is true for any shoe purchase having the correct size is even more important if you’re going to be walking around in high heels.

Don’t Buy Cheap

If you’re going to buy a heel, buy a quality shoe. There are lots of inexpensive high heels out there that will kill your feet. Try a well-established company like Munro if you’re going to go higher.

Cushion Your Shoes

Purchase yourself a pair of high heel insoles made just for high heel wearers. These insoles relieve pressure under the forefoot by redistributing your weight in the shoe. According to Superfeet the makers of this insole, it can also help reduce blisters, fatigue, and pump bump--also known as Haglund’s deformity.  

All this being said I still suggest a heel no higher than one inch. In addition, going totally flat is not a good option for most people either, unless you have perfect feet. Stick to a slight heel from a great shoe company with room in the toebox and your feet will wear much better in the long run.

For more information about feet or if you are experiencing foot pain, call us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.