Haglund’s deformity is a bony enlargement on the back of the heel, which can lead to painful bursitis. This is an inflammation of the bursa (a fluid-filled sac between the tendon and bone). In Haglund’s deformity, the soft tissue near the Achilles tendon becomes irritated when the bony enlargement rubs against shoes.


Haglund’s deformity can occur in one or both feet. The signs and symptoms include:

  • A noticeable bump on the back of the heel. 
  • Pain in the area where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel. 
  • Swelling in the back of the heel. 
  • Redness near the inflamed tissue.
Main contributing factors 
  1. Heredity. People can inherit a type of foot structure that makes them prone to developing this condition.
  2. Tight Achilles tendon
  3. Tendency to walk on the outside of the heels.
Treatment for Haglund’s deformity

Aims to reduce swelling and pain of the bursa but will not reduce the bony protrusion.

  • ICE 
  • Medications - NSAIDs
  • Stretching exercises, padding & strapping
  • Heel lifts
  • Footwear modifications/changes
  • If biomechanics is a contributor/cause – orthotics may be considered
What can you do?

A recurrence of Retrocalcaneal Bursitis due to Haglund’s deformity may be prevented by:

  • Wearing appropriate shoes 
  • Performing stretching exercises to prevent the Achilles tendon from tightening. 
  • Avoiding running on hard surfaces and running uphill. 
  • Using orthotic devices if required.
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