On Thin Ice – Hockey Skates and Haglund’s Deformity

Haglund's DeformityAnyone who knows anything about hockey recognizes it’s a dangerous sport. Bruises are inevitable, and serious injuries like concussions, broken bones, sprains, and tendon or ligament tears can be unfortunately common. Another painful injury that can limit your young athlete on the ice that most people don’t know about, however, is Haglund’s deformity. The stiff backs in hockey skates can create a bump on the heel and leave your young hockey star struggling on the ice.

Haglund’s deformity is a bony enlargement on the back of the heel bone. Aggravated pressure and friction on the bone causes this enlargement, so tight Achilles tendons and shoes are the most common culprits. The stiff backs of certain shoes—and especially hockey skates—presses and pinches against the heel, aggravating and enlarging a growth.

As a result, your young hockey player ends up with a hard, slowly growing bump on the back of his or her heel. The bump may appear red and be sensitive to touch when it’s aggravated. You may notice swelling there as well. Your young player may be more prone to overuse injuries like bursitis, too, which can make using that foot at all extremely uncomfortable and require time away from sports to recover.

So what can you do if your young hockey star is showing signs of a bump on the heel? First of all, make sure his or her skates fit correctly. Skates that are too loose or too tight rub against the back of the foot and aggravate the problem. Your hockey player may need a gel pad or even an orthotic for his or her skates to alleviate the pressure as well. Help your child stretch his or her Achilles tendons daily to make sure they aren’t tight and stressing the heel bones.

Your young hockey player and skate enthusiast doesn’t have to give up the sport because of Haglund’s deformity. He or she will need to make some accommodations for the condition, however. Our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. is happy to help you take care of your athlete’s feet for any reason. Make an appointment at our offices in Parker, Cherry Creek in Denver, or Castle Pines, CO, so we can help keep your child skating. Call (303) 805-5156 or use our web request forms to make an appointment with us.
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