Haglund’s Deformity

Haglund’s deformity is a bony enlargement on the back of the heel. Because it rubs against the shoe, it can often lead to bursitis - a painful inflammation of the bursa (a fluid-filled sac between the tendon and bone).


  • Haglund’s deformity can occur in either or both feet. The symptoms include:
  • A noticeable bump on the back of the heel
  • Swelling in the back of the heel
  • Pain where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel

Non-surgical treatment of Haglund’s deformity can relieve pain and inflammation, but it won’t reduce the bony lump. Non-surgical treatments can include one or more of the following:

  • Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen
  • Ice packs. Apply (wrapped in a towel) for 20 minutes or so, and repeat several times per day.
  • Stretching exercises to help relieve tension from the Achilles tendon.
  • Heel lifts. Heel lifts placed inside the shoe can decrease the pressure on the heel.
  • Heel pads in the shoe. These cushion the heel and may help reduce irritation when walking.
  • Shoe modification. Backless or soft-backed shoes help eliminate or reduce irritation.
  • Orthotic devices to control the motion of the foot.
  • Immobilisation. In some cases, casting may be necessary.

 In severe cases, surgery may be needed.