Prevention and Treatment of Haglund’s Deformity
To help avoid Haglund’s deformity and optimally protect the feet, IPFH suggests wearing only properly selected and fitted, as part of an integrated approach, padded socks with shoes with non-slip outsoles and any inserts or orthotics prescribed or recommended by a doctor or foot health professional. Peer-reviewed, published studies have shown that wearing clinically tested padded socks can help protect against injuries to the skin/soft tissue of the foot from impact, pressure and shear forces. Performing stretching exercises to prevent the Achilles tendon from tightening and avoiding running on hard surfaces and running uphill can also help prevent Haglund’s deformity from occurring.
Treatment generally is conservative:
- Icing may reduce the swelling of the inflamed area.
- Orthotics may help to stabilize and control motion of the foot.
- Placing pads or cushions inside the heels of shoes can help take pressure off the back of the heel.
- Wearing padded socks can also help take pressure off the back of the heel.
- Wearing shoes with modified heel counters or open-backed shoes will take pressure off the bump.
- Iontophoresis is a painless alternative to anti-inflammatory drug injections. In this therapy, a weak electrical current is used to stimulate anti-inflammatory drug-carrying ions to pass through intact skin, which may be helpful in reducing the pain.
- Ultrasound treatments, moist heat and soft-tissue massage also may provide relief.
- Surgery usually is considered only as a last resort, when other less invasive measures (including injection of anti-inflammatory drugs) have failed and pain becomes intolerable. Surgical procedures aim to reduce the prominence on the back of the heel so that pressure from the heel counter is decreased or eliminated. If the source of pressure is removed, thickened soft tissues often shrink back to near-normal size over time.