Haglund’s Deformity: Pump Bump on Your Heels


Whether it’s for a night on the town, a wedding, or a dressy office job, wearing high heels is something most women do at some point. We love the classy feel of getting dressed up, but after a night of dancing or walking in heels all day at work, we usually suffer the consequences: tired, achy feet, and the possibility that those favorite pumps are causing a bump at the back of our heels.

Pump Bump Hurts No Matter What You Call It

There are many names for this condition: Haglund’s Deformity, posterior calcaneal tuberosity, retrocalcaneal bursitis, Mulholland’s deformity, or pump bump. They all describe the same problem—a bony growth that forms at the back of the heel bone (calcaneus) and causes pain.

Why does it form? There may be some inherited factors involved, like high arches or walking on the outside of your foot, but it is seen most often in young women who wear high heels with rigid backs. The shoe rubs against the bone, which builds up and protrudes towards the back. Part of the reason may be that wearing heels keeps the Achilles tendon flexed and constantly pulling against the bone where it is attached. Pain can come from skin tenderness where the bone itself pushes against the shoe, but more often occurs when the bursa sac between the calcaneus and the Achilles becomes inflamed from the constant friction.

High Heel usage can result in heel pain Shoe Choice and Exercises Can Help Pump Bump

The obvious choice is to not wear heels, but that is a difficult one. You could try a style with an open back, but that may not be advisable if you have other foot conditions like plantar fasciitis, bunions, or another foot structure problem. Some people have found that a heel pad can help redistribute the pressure on the bone and bring relief. The best solution may be to alternate shoes and only wear heels for brief periods at a time.

Haglund’s deformity can be associated with Achilles tendinitis, too, so the following exercises that help to stretch the tendon and calf muscles can be very helpful.

  • standing calf stretches while facing a wall
  • picking up a towel with your toes while seated in a chair
  • using a towel around your foot to stretch your calves while sitting on the floor
  • exercises for stretching the plantar fascia

Finding Help on Long Island

Our expert podiatrists at Aadvanced Foot Care Associates can show you how to do these and other exercises that may help reduce the pain of pump bump or even prevent this condition from forming. If the pain worsens or conservative measures no longer relieve it, there are surgical treatments that can modify this deformity and relieve your pain.

Call one of our offices today and Dr. Hal Abrahamson and Dr. Daniel E. Orozco will put their 40 years of combined expertise to work for you. You can reach our Rego Park office at (718) 896-4433, the Flushing location at (718) 969-2266, or the Plainview, NY office at (516) 822-9595. You can also request an appointment on our website.


Our Locations

Rego Park
97-07 63 Road
Rego Park, NY 11374
(718) 896-4433

100 Maneto Hill Road, Suite 103
Plainview, NY 11803
(516) 822-9595

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