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Tuesday, April 24 Sports

Ice skating can cause spurs

One of the most common problems we are now seeing with hockey players and ice skating on the lakes and ponds is Haglund's deformity, which is referred to as a "retrocalcaneal spur." This spur is at the Achilles tendon behind the heel bone. This is different than a heel spur on the bottom of the heel, but both conditions must be ruled out by x-ray evaluation. This condition may also be found in the general public.

A heel spur is a hard and usually painful area in the back of the heel where the Achilles tendon attaches itself to the heel bone. When the area is examined and palpated, there is a feeling of hard bone rather than the soft suppleness of the Achilles tendon. Once an episode of tendonitis has occurred, the athlete will have a greater tendency toward recurrence. It is important to stop all activities at this point, rather than rupture the tendon.

The proper training shoes with good heel cushioning and stability will also protect the area from additional trauma.

Most important are preventative measures, starting with exercise for stretching and strengthening to gain better flexibility. This injury can be very painful in acute stages and can become chronic, creating problems for years. It is important to rest the area and seek medical attention.

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