Taking Care Of Your Whole Body

Taking Care Of Your Whole Body

Foot Pain? It Might Be Time To Pitch The Pumps

by Linda Lopez

Are you having foot pain? You've heard of corns, calluses, and bunions causing foot pain, but have you ever heard of pump bump? This condition could be the culprit, especially if you have a closet full of fashionable, high-heeled pumps.

What's Pump Bump?

Pump bump, also known as Haglund's deformity, is a bony protrusion on the calcaneus (the bone that forms the heel). It is often seen in women who wear tight pump-style shoes, which is why it's often called pump bump. However, it can be caused by any shoes with a hard-backed rigid heel, including men's dress shoes. The tight shoes rub against the calcaneus, causing irritation, which can lead to an inflamed Achilles tendon or the formation of a bursa. A bursa is a fluid-filled sack that occurs over any bone protrusion where friction occurs. Inflammation of the bursa is what causes the painful, swollen bump associated with Haglund's deformity.

What Causes Haglund's Deformity?

The bony growth itself is often caused by an inherited defect in the structure of the foot. People with high arches, a tight Achilles tendon, or those who tend to walk on the outsides of their feet, are more prone to this condition. It can also be caused by trauma to the foot or an increase in weight.

How Is This Condition Treated?

There are several things you can do to help relieve pump bump. If you notice a painful, red swollen area on your heel, consult with a podiatrist or foot and ankle specialist. It's easier to control inflammation of the foot if you start treatment early. If the diagnosis is pump bump, the first thing you'll need to do is change your footwear. Ditch the hard-backed shoes in favor of soft backed or no-back shoes, with arch supports. Ice packs can help reduce the inflammation and pain, as can anti-inflammatory medications and topical pain-killing ointments or patches.

Other conservative treatments include avoiding strenuous activities such as running, elevating the foot, and wearing heel pads or foot inserts. Some doctors use ultrasound or laser therapies to reduce the inflammation and promote healing. In more severe cases, a below the knee cast can immobilize the heel and promote healing.

When Is Surgery Recommended?

When various conservative treatments do not relieve the symptoms of Haglund's deformity, your doctor may advise surgery for the condition. The primary goal of the surgery is to remove the bony growth causing the irritation. If the Achilles tendon is damaged, the doctor may remove, repair, or replace the damaged part. Typically, patients are able to go home the day of the surgery. You'll need to stay off your feet or use crutches for a while as you recover, after which you'll be able to slowly start putting weight on the foot.

For more information, consider contacting a foot and ankle specialist like those at the Affiliated Ankle & Foot Care Center.


About Me

Taking Care Of Your Whole Body

Your feet might not seem like an important part of your personal health and wellness routine, but you would be hard-pressed to work out without them. Unfortunately, many people overlook their foot health, only to end up suffering from debilitating bunions and painful ingrown toenails. A few years ago, I ignored a cut on my foot which eventually turned into a full-blown infection. After a near-amputation, I realized that I needed to start focusing on my whole body. I know that if you can start focusing on your foot health, you can avoid troubling conditions so that you can enjoy your life.