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Stealing the Show: Where Pump Bumps Come From

Updated: Jul 30, 2020

Sometimes the lead in a play or a movie isn’t the star that viewers remember. Another character’s performance can “steal the show” and resonate with people more strongly. Sometimes it can feel like foot problems steal the show in your daily life. Issues like a pump bump can limit what shoes you can wear comfortably, put you at risk for bursitis and Achilles problems, and generally make your life more difficult. Knowing where this condition comes from and a little bit about it can help you take care of and even avoid the problem.


Haglund’s deformity, more popularly known as a pump bump, is a bony protrusion on the back of your heel. It could be there because of how your heels are naturally shaped. For many people, though, that is not the case. It’s a problem that develops and worsens over time. Pressure and friction on the back of your heels cause stress that enlarges a bump there.


The main culprit of this actually your shoes—specifically stiff-backed styles. Pumps, dress shoes, ice skates, and any others that have solid, stiff, unyielding backs can be a source. The backs of the shoes pinch against your heels and strain them whenever you take a step. Eventually this enlarges the bump and puts you at risk for problems like bursitis.

There are other ways to develop the problem, of course. People with abnormally high arches or very tight Achilles tendons are prone to developing a pump bump, too. The strain on the back of the foot from a high arch or Achilles that doesn’t stretch well can aggravate the bone and cause a bump to build up over time.


The good news is that no matter the cause, Haglund’s deformity can be treated conservatively. In some cases, you can even take simple measures to prevent it! It’s all a part of investing in your foot health so pain doesn’t steal the spotlight of your life. Our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC is here to help you keep your feet at their best. Don’t wait for the pain—act now. Make an appointment by calling (504) 708-4810 or by using our online request forms.


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