What causes Heel Bumps?

Heel bumps can occur at any age. They are caused by an abnormal bony prominence behind the Achilles tendon, or due to wear and tear within the Achilles tendon as it attaches itself to the heel bone.

If there is an abnormal prominence of bone behind the Achilles tendon, this is called a Haglund deformity. This pushes the tendon out, and can rub on it. The body forms a bag of lubricating fluid which can become inflamed and cause pain. The heel counter on a trainer can put pressure on this area, hence they are often called pump bumps, although they are not caused by the footwear. In fact, this deformity is more likely to be inherited.

The Achilles tendon may become inflamed where it joins the heel bone. There may be wear and tear in the tendon at this level, and sometimes calcium is laid down in the tendon itself. This causes a bump that feels very bony, and xrays will show this. The tissue in the tendon on the MRI scan to the left looks like bone, but it is in fact tendon with calcium in it.

If you have a pump bump, it is best to see an orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in foot and ankle surgery. You should have x-rays taken in a standing position. This will help to find the exact cause of the pump bump and what treatment may be available.

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calcium in

the tendon