What is Pump Bump and How Did I Get It?

by | Aug 10, 2016 | Heel and Arch Pain

Understandably, lumps and bumps that appear anywhere on your body can cause a lot of anxiety, especially if they’re painful or don’t seem to go away or get any better. A bony bump on your heel—also known clinically as Haglund’s deformity—is no exception. But what is it? Where did it come from? How did you get it? Is it dangerous? Is it going to go away?

We have good news and bad news. The good news is that Haglund’s deformity is not cancerous or caused by any dangerous medical conditions, and poses no significant health risks beyond the pain. The bad news is that it isn’t going to go away on its own, either. Some form of treatment will be necessary to ease pain, and if you want to shrink your heel back to its original size, surgery will be needed.

Haglund’s deformity has another, more descriptive name in common usage: pump bump. That’s because the condition is very commonly associated with people who wear shoes with rigid, inflexible backs behind the heel—pumps, of course, being the classic example. Such footwear can place a lot of pressure, stress, and friction on the soft tissues surrounding the area where the Achilles tendon inserts into the heel bone. And when those tissues get inflamed, deposits of calcium build up on the back of the heel bone, forming the bony enlargement.

But that doesn’t mean the problem is all your fault, either! You very likely inherited some additional risk factors that made your case more likely. For example, people with particularly high arches are naturally at greater risk, because of the way the heel bone tilts backward into the Achilles. Especially tight tendons or a tendency to walk on the outside of the heel can also create the kinds of pressures and forces that nurture a pump bump. Often cases can be attributed to a combination of hereditary bad luck and shoe choice, rather than exclusively one or the other.

Fortunately, many treatment options are available, including conservative options that won’t “fix” the bump but could fix the painful symptoms associated with it. Ignoring the problem, however, will only make it worse. Schedule an appointment with the Kansas Foot Center today and see how our team of experts can help—you can call our Wichita office today at 866.222.5177.