Specifically, posterior heel pain is when a patient experiences pain and discomfort behind the heel of the foot. This sensation is often caused by an abnormality of the foot bone and soft tissues, which can make daily activities and mobility more difficult. Learn more about posterior heel pain, its symptoms and causes, and how the expert podiatrists at Comprehensive Foot Specialists treat this condition at our office in Huntington, NY.
Posterior heel pain, most commonly diagnosed as Haglund’s deformity/syndrome or “pump bump,” is a bony enlargement on the back or posterior aspect of the heel. Haglund’s deformity can occur in one or both feet. The skin and soft tissue over the Achilles tendon become irritated when pressed against the heel bone in shoes. This can lead to a painful case of bursitis and inflammation. Patients will often notice a sizeable bump on the back of the heel, accompanied by swelling and redness due to inflammation of the bursa.
Haglund’s syndrome is most often caused by the use of rigid backs of shoes, such as “pumps” or high heels, ice skates, or men’s dress shoes, which create a significant amount of pressure against the soft tissue over the Achilles tendon, bone, and soft tissue. When the bony lump at the back of the heel is enlarged, it more easily rubs against rigid shoes, leading to inflammation and pain. In some cases, genetics plays a role in influencing the foot structure. Some of the foot types that are more prone to developing Haglund’s deformity include:
Diagnosis is often made in the office setting based on patient symptoms and a physical exam, with the addition of X-rays to further investigate the patient’s foot structure. This condition can sometimes be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms often mimic other ailments, such as Achilles tendonitis. Your doctor will likely examine the appearance of your heel, and utilize an X-ray to analyze the prominence of your heel bone.
Initial conservative treatment is aimed at decreasing the amount of inflammation and pain in the heel. These options may include, over-the-counter pain medications, heel lifts/pads, shoe modifications, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotics, and immobilization. While these treatments can improve pain and inflammation, they ultimately cannot shrink the bony protrusion. At this point, surgery may be suggested and will include removing the offending bone and inflamed tissue to provide adequate relief.
If you are experiencing posterior heel pain, our doctors at Comprehensive Foot Specialists will work to bring you the relief you are seeking. We are skilled and experienced in treating a variety of foot conditions, and we proudly treat patients at our office in Huntington, NY. To learn more about the conditions we treat and to make your appointment, please contact us today.
At Comprehensive Foot Specialists, our expert physicians are dedicated to treating a wide variety of foot and ankle conditions so you can live comfortably, 24/7. Contact us today to learn more!Book an Appointment