Haglung's deformity symptoms and treatment

Maladie de Haglund

What is it?

Haglund’s deformity was described for the first time in 1928. It refers to the mechanical irritation between the posterior section of the calcaneus (heel bone) and the Achilles tendon. A bony lump, call a Haglund’s deformity, causes a conflict by entering into direct contact with the tendon. The rear pressure when putting on shoes complicates the condition and causes a mechanical irritation of the retrocalcaneal bursa (cushion between the bone and tendon). Irritation of the retroachilles bursa (located between the tendon and skin) is also observed.

Haglund - bursite achilléenne
  • Fig. 1

    Haglund’s deformity with irritation of the retrocalcaneal and retroachilles bursas

Clinical presentation

The main complaint is at the level of the posterior part of the heel. There is usually a bump at this level, accompanied by pain when putting on shoes. With chronic inflammation of the Achilles tendon, pain may also be present at rest or during sustained activity.

When should you consult a specialist?

When putting on shoes is difficult or when the pain becomes incapacitating. The development of skin lesions at the rear bump is also a sign of severity requiring a specialised consultation.

The diagnosis is made by clinical examination, but also by a radiological assessment that highlights the conflict. In some cases, an MRI may be proposed to detect chronic Achilles tendon lesions that require specific care.

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