Hockey Players and Haglund’s Deformity

Playoff hockey is right around the corner, and in the post season, anything can happen! One thing is for sure, though — whether you’re a pro or skating in the rec leagues, hockey injuries are bound to occur!

Skeleton of heel bumpJust as in other sports, the list of potential problems is long, but besides losing a tooth or needing stitches, there’s one phenomenon of which you might not be aware – a strange bony bump on the back of the heel called Haglund’s deformity.

What is this bump and what does it have to do with hockey? Well, it’s not as much to do with the sport itself, but rather the equipment used to play it – namely, hockey skates. You see, skates tend to have extremely stiff heels to provide protection, support, and keep things in line, however because of their rigidity, they rub and place pressure on the back of the heel bone where the Achilles tendon attaches. This excessive pressure can lead to inflamed tissues surrounding the enlarged bone, as well as inflammation of the bursa sac between the bone and tendon, a.k.a. bursitis.

While there’s nothing that can be done as far as how hockey skates are designed, players can take some measures to ease pain and prevent further issues. Padding the area or using custom orthotics in your skates can help redirect pressure away from the bony bump. Anti-inflammatory medications and ice can help minimize discomfort as well. Massage and ultrasound therapies are also options that may provide relief.

To find out more, just give us a call! You can reach us in Roselle Park, NJ at (908) 687-5757, or contact our Princeton office at (609) 924-8333. We’ll help you win the fight against Haglund’s deformity so you can stay off the bench and on the ice.