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pump bump


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A rounded swelling on the heel that coincides with rough, close-fitting heel counters of ‘pumps’ (training shoes). The swelling is due to frictional irritation of a subcutaneous bursa against the heel counter. The bursa overlies the Achilles tendon, which may also become tender and inflamed at its point of insertion onto the heel bone. Pump bump is often complicated by overtraining, which causes inflammation of the deep bursa between the lower end of the Achilles tendon and the heel bone. A pump bump due solely to irritation with footwear, can be alleviated by smoothing the heel counter or protecting the heel with padding around the tender area. Anti-inflammatories are usually prescribed, but surgical treatment maybe necessary if the condition becomes chronic, particularly if it is accompanied by bossing of the heel bone. See also Achilles tendonitis, bursitis.

Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.


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