Haglund's exostosis: what is it and how do we treat it?

Haglundse exostose: Wat is het en hoe behandelen we het?

If you suffer from pain and a hard swelling at the back of your heel, you may have a Haglund's exostosis. This is an abnormal bone growth at the back of the heel bone, which is often associated with bursitis and Achilles tendinitis. In this article we explain the causes and symptoms of this condition and how it can be treated.

Causes of Haglund's exostosis An exostosis on the heel bone is often caused by excessive pressure on the back of the bone, for example in skaters or people who wear shoes with heel caps that are too hard. The body responds to this by creating extra bone, resulting in a bony prominence at the back of the heel bone.

Symptoms of Haglund's exostosis People with Haglund's exostosis often experience pain and a hard swelling at the back of the heel, redness around the heel bone and a painful and thickened Achilles tendon. The complaints are exacerbated by extra pressure on the bony prominence and by wearing ill-fitting shoes.

Treatment of Haglund's exostosis Fortunately, Haglund's exostosis can be treated well. The podiatrist will initially look at how the pressure on the heel bone can be reduced. This can be done, for example, by dent the heel cap of the shoe, so that the bony prominence can fall into it.

In addition, shoe advice is often given to reduce the complaints. If the complaints persist, the shoe can be adjusted to reduce the pressure on bone growth. Arch supports can also be made to reduce the stretch of the Achilles tendon and prevent aggravation of the complaints.

In some cases, surgical removal of the exostosis may be necessary.

Tips for reducing pain In addition to following the treatments of the podiatrist, there are also things you can do yourself to reduce the pain. For example, by purchasing decent shoes with a softer heel cap, so that there is less pressure on the heel bone. If you suffer from bursitis or Achilles tendonitis, you can be treated specifically for these specific complaints.


If you experience pain and a hard swelling at the back of your heel, you may have Haglund's exostosis. Fortunately, this condition is treatable through adjustment of shoes, arch supports and, in some cases, surgical removal of the bone growth.

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