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Fairhope, Brewton, Atmore Phone (251) 928-6768

Haglund's Deformity (Retrocalcaneal Bursitis)


This condition is a bony enlargement on the back of the heel that can aggravate the retrocalcaneal bursa, a fluid-filled sac located on the back of the heel between the Achilles tendon and the calcaneus. The bursa can become inflamed and swollen, a condition called bursitis. Haglund's deformity most commonly affects young women.


Haglund's deformity commonly develops as a result of wearing shoes with rigid backs, such as pumps, which put pressure on the back of the heel.

Bony Bump Forms

Over time, this pressure can cause a bony bump to form on the calcaneus, and this bump digs into the surrounding soft tissue. The irritated bursa swells, and other tissues, including the Achilles tendon, may swell and thicken.

Increased Susceptibility

People who have certain anatomical structures, such as a prominent bump underneath the Achilles tendon, high arches, a tight Achilles tendon, or other factors have an increased susceptibility to this condition.


Symptoms include pain and a callus at the back of the heel. If bursitis develops, a large, swollen bump may form on the back of the heel.


Treatment options include wearing shoes with no backs or soft backs, heel pads or other orthotic devices, heel sleeves, ice, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. In some cases, a cast or boot may be needed. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to remove the bony bump or alter the shape of the calcaneus.

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