If your child is experiencing a painful inflammation on the back of their heel, they may have Sever’s disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis. This problem is mainly seen in physically active boys and girls between the ages of 8-14. The pain can be uncomfortable and lead to limping or difficulty walking. Luckily, the expert foot and ankle surgeons at Kalmar Family Podiatry in Huntington, New York, offer a variety of treatments such as stretching, orthotics, or modifying shoes to treat heel pain. Call the office today or schedule an appointment online.
Sever’s disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis, is painful inflammation of the growth plate at the back of the heel bone. A growth plate is made from cartilage, and the bones grow from these areas making them more vulnerable to irritation and injury than actual bone.
Children ages 8-14 are the ones typically affected because the heel bone hasn’t fully developed, and there’s too much stress on the growth plate. Another reason a child may develop Sever’s disease is that their foot muscles and tendons don’t keep up with the pace of the bone growth
Symptoms of Sever’s disease include:
Increasing a child’s daily activity can make the symptoms more noticeable because they’re overusing their tendons and muscles. This repetitive stress can lead to inflammation at the back of their heel.
Your child’s podiatrist at Kalmar Family Podiatry examines your child’s lower leg, ankle, and foot along with taking into consideration their symptoms and medical history. Additionally, they’ll take X-rays to rule out other medical conditions that may be causing the heel pain.
Once the podiatrist diagnoses Sever’s disease, there are multiple treatments that can treat the inflammation and pain caused by repetitive tension and pressure on the growth center. Using shoe inserts or custom orthotic devices can help support the child’s heel and decrease the pain. Physical therapy also helps because stretching can prevent further pain and inflammation. Lastly, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can help.
Since Sever’s disease is associated with a child’s growth plate, the heel pain can return after treatment because they’re still growing. It’s best to apply preventative measures to avoid any pain a child can feel when they place weight on their infected heel.
While you cannot prevent a child from developing Sever’s disease, you can drastically reduce their chances by:
To make sure your child receives proper diagnosis and treatment for Sever’s disease so they can continue to be physically active and happy, call Kalmar Family Podiatry today or schedule your appointment online.