Sever's Disease

Sever’s disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis, is a foot condition that occurs in children. Sever’s disease is not truly a disease, but rather an overuse injury. It is common among active children between the ages of 8 and 14. Young, growing children have a growth plate in their heels, where new bone is forming. When too much stress is put on the heel, the growth plate can become inflamed, leading to heel pain. 

Children who participate in activities that put repetitive stress on the heel bone are most at risk of developing Sever’s disease. These activities include playing soccer or basketball, running track, or any other sport or activity that involves running, jogging, or jumping. Children who are obese, have tight Achilles tendons, biomechanical problems, flat feet, or fallen arches are also at risk. 

The symptoms of Sever’s disease include pain in the back or bottom of the heel, pain when the sides of the heel are squeezed, and fatigue. The pain may lead to difficulties walking or bearing weight on the affected foot, and you may notice your child limping or walking on their toes to avoid putting pressure on the heel. A chiropodist can diagnose Sever’s disease by taking a medical history and performing a physical examination. Imaging studies such as X-rays may also be ordered. 

Sever’s disease is generally treated by resting the affected foot, wearing shoes or orthotics that support the heel, and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and inflammation. In severe cases of heel pain, the affected foot may need to be immobilized with a cast while it heals. If your child is complaining of heel pain, please consult with a chiropodist. 

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