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The Bauer Bump in Ice Hockey

Author: Craig Payne
by Craig Payne
Posted: May 27, 2022
ice hockey

The is one thing that a lot of ice hockey players complain about and that is something that has become known as the Bauer Bump. Bauer are one of the biggest makes of ice hockey skates, so the condition is named after them, even though they can happen in any brand of ice hockey skate. The condition is really what is called Haglund’s deformity or a retrocalcaneal bursitis. It also gets called the pump bump. This is when there is an enlargement of the heel bone at the back that any hard footwear such as an ice hockey skate is going to irritate and cause an inflammation of the bursa there. It is not something that is unique to ice hockey and Haglund’s deformity can happen to anyone in any shoes if the shoes irritate an enlargement at the back of the heel bone.

Typically, the enlargement can be seen at the back of the heel bone and it is easy to see how any boot or shoe is going to irritate that enlargement. The continuing irritation will inflame a bursa that is over the bone there and it may become red and swollen from that. That swelling can sometimes get so bad that anti-inflammatory drugs may be needed to reduce the pain and the swelling.

What specifically can an ice hockey player do for this Bauer’s Bump? Sometimes just changing the brand of ice hockey skates is all that is needed, and you do see a number of anecdotes from ice hockey players that this is what they did and it fixed them. A good skate boot fitter will have the tools to grind out a cavity in the heel counter area of the skate boots. Some can even use a heat gun and stretch the heel counter area out a little over the area. There are also various pads that can be used to help keep the pressure off the painful area. This includes silicone gel protective pads, sometimes incorporated into a sock. A lot of players report that this is very helpful and recommend it. Other types of pads shaped like a horseshoe, or a doughnut can be fashioned to go around the painful area and stop the skate from pushing on the painful area at the back of the heel bone. This can be an ongoing problem as the swelling from the bursitis can be reduced using these approaches, but the enlarged bone is still going to be there long term, so can easily be irritated again. The only option to get rid of the bone and Bauer’s bump permanently is surgery to remove the bone. While this is a good option long term it is a bit difficult as the Achilles tendon needs to be taken off to get at the bone to remove it and then the tendon is stitched back into place. The problem with that is the longer rehabilitation that is needed because of the need to move the tendon out of the way.

About the Author

Craig Payne is a University lecturer, runner, cynic, researcher, skeptic, forum admin, woo basher, clinician, rabble-rouser, blogger and a dad.

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Author: Craig Payne
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Craig Payne

Member since: Aug 16, 2020
Published articles: 252

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