Sever’s disease or calcaneal apophysitis is usually the most common cause of pain in the heel of children. The pain is caused because there is an injury/inflammation to the growth plate of the calcaneus from the Achilles tendon pulling. The Achilles is the strongest tendon of the foot and has a lot of force. Sever’s disease usually occurs between the ages of 8 and 14 years of age and in kids who play tennis, basketball and soccer. The condition is due to an underlying mechanical problem with the way the foot functions and is not a disease process through the body. At the beginning of soccer and basketball seasons our office sees a lot of kids with pain in their heels, luckily we can usually keep the little athletes playing their sports without having to cast them
- Heel lifts not heel cushions(MOST important)
- Muscle stretching exercises
- Oral Anti-inflammatories
At Foot, Ankle and Leg Vein Center our doctors will evaluate your child’s gait for any biomechanical problems that may lead to excess force on the growth plate. An x-ray of their foot will be performed to ensure a fracture is not present. We can decrease the force the Achilles places on the growth plate with a heel lift or orthotic. When they where it all day it will help reduce the force applied to the calcaneal growth plate with every step. Over time, this will decrease the pain and inflamation present at the calcaneal growth plate. One of the most important factors is to wear the lift all day an don’t just when they play sports. Rarely, a below the knee cast or pneumatic cam walker is required in severe cases to calm down the symptoms. Usually, most of the kids pain is alleviated with heel lift or custom molded Orthotics. Orthotics work by correcting foot function and will fit into most shoes. All cases of Sever’s will resolve after the growth plate closes.