Children’s Heel Pain (Sever’s Disease)

child girl doing fitness exercises. Isolated on white background.

Article by Dr. Misako McLeod, DPM

Children, just like adults, suffer from foot and ankle issues. Parents are often told that children will “grow out” of these pains and that they are “normal.” Although children may experience some growing pains, it’s usually not normal to experience growing pains in the feet and ankles.

One of the more common issues that kids suffer from is Sever’s Disease or Calcaneal apophysitis. This condition involves a painful inflammation of the heel’s growth plate. When there is repetitive stress on the growth plate it creates inflammation and pain in the heel. Sometimes, the child is growing in height so quickly, that there is a pulling of the achilles tendon on the back of the heel and growth plate and this can also cause pain. Overuse and stress on the heel bone through sports activities can cause more inflammation and worsening of symptoms in the heel.

 

F 278 and F279 PedHeel-2009

 

Sever’s Disease is a common problem and can occur in one or both feet. Symptoms may include:

 

Dr. McLeod takes special care when examining and evaluating the pediatric patient. A full birth, developmental, and rheumatologic history will be obtained. This is followed by a complete neurologic and orthopedic examination as well as X-rays of both feet, ankles, and legs. This is to evaluate the growth plates, alignment, and to rule out more serious conditions such as children’s bone tumors.

Dr. McLeod will usually refer the child to  pediatric physical therapist and evaluate the patient for orthoses or supramalleolar orthoses in more severe cases. Sometimes a special modification such as a heel lift either by itself or built into an orthotic is beneficial to reduce tension in the achilles tendon.

All children who suffer from foot and ankle pain should be evaluated by a foot and ankle specialist and treat appropriately.

Call 1-844-442-FOOT for an appointment today!

 

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