What is Retrocalcaneal exostosis?

Answered by Walter Hunter

Retrocalcaneal exostosis, also known as Haglund’s deformity, is a condition that I personally have experience with. It involves the formation of a bony prominence at the back of the heel bone, which is called the calcaneus. This bony prominence can cause a variety of issues, including difficulty in wearing shoes, tenderness, and pain.

I first became aware of this condition when I started experiencing pain in the back of my heel. It was especially noticeable when I wore shoes that rubbed against that area. The pain was sharp and would often worsen with activity, making it difficult for me to participate in physical activities that I enjoyed.

Upon visiting a doctor, I was informed that I had retrocalcaneal exostosis. They explained that this condition is often caused by repetitive stress or pressure on the back of the heel, such as wearing tight or ill-fitting shoes. In my case, I had been wearing shoes that were too tight, which contributed to the development of the bony prominence.

The doctor also explained that the bony prominence can cause inflammation and irritation of the surrounding tissues, leading to pain and tenderness. This made sense to me, as I had noticed that the area around the bony prominence was often red and swollen.

Treatment options for retrocalcaneal exostosis vary depending on the severity of the condition. In my case, the doctor recommended conservative measures such as wearing shoes with a softer back, using heel pads to cushion the area, and avoiding activities that aggravated the pain. They also suggested icing the area and taking over-the-counter pain medication as needed.

While these measures provided some relief, they were not a permanent solution. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the bony prominence and alleviate the associated symptoms. However, this was not required in my situation.

Retrocalcaneal exostosis, or Haglund’s deformity, can be a painful and frustrating condition to deal with. It can limit physical activity and cause discomfort on a daily basis. However, with proper treatment and care, it is possible to manage the symptoms and improve quality of life.