Sever?s disease is a common cause of heel pain in children especially in the young and physically active. Severs disease is a painful bone disorder that results from inflammation (swelling) of the
growth plate in the heel. A growth plate, also called an epiphyseal plate, is an area at the end of a developing bone where cartilage cells change over time into bone cells. As this occurs, the
growth plates expand and unite. It is very important that damage to the growth plate is avoided.
During the growth spurt of early puberty, the bones often grow faster than the leg muscles and tendons. This can cause the muscles to become very tight and overstretched, the heel becomes less
flexible and this build-up of pressure can result in redness, swelling, tenderness and pain at the heel.
If your child has any of the following symptoms, call your pediatrician for an evaluation. Heel pain that begins after starting a new sports season or a new sport. Walking with a limp or on tiptoes.
Pain that increases with running or jumping. Heel tendon that feels tight. Pain when you squeeze the child's heel near the back. Pain in one or both heels.
Sever?s disease can be diagnosed based on the symptoms your child has. Your child?s doctor will conduct a physical examination by squeezing different parts of your child?s foot to see if they cause
any pain. An X-ray may be used to rule out other problems, such as a broken bone or fracture.
Non Surgical Treatment
Physiotherapy treatment to improve range of the ankle and descrease soft tissue tightness. Orthotics to control excessive motion of the foot. Icing the painful area. Use of topical anti-inflammatory
cream. Taping of the foot during exercise. Stretching, only if recommended by the physiotherapist.
The surgeon may select one or more of the following options to treat calcaneal apophysitis. Reduce activity. The child needs to reduce or stop any activity that causes pain. Support the heel.
Temporary shoe inserts or custom orthotic devices may provide support for the heel. Medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, help reduce the pain and
inflammation. Physical therapy. Stretching or physical therapy modalities are sometimes used to promote healing of the inflamed issue. Immobilization. In some severe cases of pediatric heel pain, a
cast may be used to promote healing while keeping the foot and ankle totally immobile. Often heel pain in children returns after it has been treated because the heel bone is still growing. Recurrence
of heel pain may be a sign of calcaneal apophysitis, or it may indicate a different problem. If your child has a repeat bout of heel pain, be sure to make an appointment with your foot and ankle