I know it's summer, but it's never too early to talk about ice hockey! When you think of hockey injuries, broken bones and knocked-out teeth typically come to mind, but actually one of the most common problems facing ice hockey players is the Haglund’s deformity.
A Haglund deformity is a bony bump that forms on the back of the heel at the base of the Achilles tendon. As it grows larger, it can cause Achilles tendinitis and, as it rubs against the backs of your shoes, can lead to painful bursitis ( a condition where your fluid-filled bursa sac, located between tendons and bones, becomes inflamed.)
Hockey players are at particular risk for developing this type of bone spur because it can be caused by the pressure of rigid-backed shoes, and hockey skates are notoriously rigid.
To try and prevent this bony growth from developing, hockey players and skaters should take care to only wear properly fitted, well-padded skates so that pressure on the back of the heel can be minimized.
If a spur has already developed at the base of the Achilles, it is crucial to take extra time to stretch out the tendon before and after every workout. Since the bone spur is placing plenty of pressure on the tendon already, you should do whatever you can to minimize additional stressors to the area.
Typically, bone spurs can be managed with conservative, non-invasive treatments, as long as you begin working with your Houston podiatrist in a timely fashion. Any delay in seeking treatment makes surgery that more likely, so schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider at the first sign of unusual bone growth on the back, bottom or sides of your feet or ankles.