Haglund’s Deformity


Haglund's deformity is a bone hypertrophy at the back of the heel. When this bone bump rubs against shoes, the soft tissue near the Achilles tendon becomes irritated, often resulting in painful bursitis.

This deformity is often caused by the pressure exerted by the counter of shoes, particularly those with a rigid heel, such as ice skates, men's dress shoes or women's high heels.

Genetics also play a role in the predisposition to Haglund's deformity. Inherited foot morphology can make a person more susceptible to developing this condition include an arched foot, a tight Achilles tendon and a tendency to walk on the outside of the heel.


Symptoms of Haglund's deformity can occur in one or both feet and include:

  • A visible bump or swelling at the back of the heel
  • Pain in the area where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel
  • Redness and/or blistering


Non-surgical treatments for Haglund's deformity aim to reduce inflammation and irritation. While these approaches may relieve pain and inflammation, they will not reduce the bone bump.

Non-surgical treatment may include one or more of the following options:

  • Medication: Oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Ice: To reduce swelling, apply an ice pack to the inflamed area.
  • Exercise: Stretching exercises help relieve Achilles tendon tension. These exercises are particularly important for patients with a tight Achilles tendon.
  • Heel lifts: Patients with arched feet may find that heel lifts placed inside the shoe relieve pressure on the heel.
  • Heel cushions: Cushions placed inside the shoe cushion the heel and can help reduce irritation when walking.
  • Shoe modification: Heelless or soft-heeled shoes help avoid or minimize irritation.
  • Orthotics: Customized foot orthotics control foot movement.
  • Immobilization: In some cases, a cast may be necessary.
  • Surgery may be necessary if non-surgical treatment fails to provide sufficient pain relief. No one should have to live with this pain on a daily basis.

Following a consultation, Dr. Sarah Cantin-Langlois, podiatrist, will determine the best procedure for you. Our innovative surgical techniques are designed to help you return to sporting activities as quickly as possible.

All content on this site is verified and approved by Dr. Sarah Cantin-Langlois, podiatrist.

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