If your child is limping, having difficulty walking, complaining of pain in their heels upon waking up in the morning or experiencing swelling or redness in the heel, it's extremely important that
you pay attention to their symptoms and seek expert medical help as soon as possible. Heel pain in adolescents is frequently a sign of a condition known as Sever's Disease (Calcaneal Apophysitis),
and while this is not a life-threatening condition, it can lead to debilitating symptoms for your child which should be remedied as quickly as possible. This article provides an easy-to-read
introduction to the causes of and treatment options for Sever's Disease. By educating yourself on this important topic, you will be ready to seek the right help for your child so that he or she can
regain their health and be free of pain again.
This condition most commonly occurs due to repetitive or prolonged activities placing strain on the heel's growth plate, typically during a period of rapid growth. These activities (or sports)
usually involve excessive walking, running, jumping or hopping. Severs disease may also be more likely to occur following a poorly rehabilitated sprained ankle, in patients with poor foot
biomechanics or those who use inappropriate footwear. In young athletes, this condition is commonly seen in running and jumping sports, such as football, basketball, netball and athletics.
The symptoms of Sever?s disease occur in the heel and the foot, and may worsen with activity. Pain and stiffness can occur in one or both heels. Symptoms can include. Swelling in the heel. Redness in
the heel. Antalgic gait (such as limping). Foot pain or stiffness first thing in the morning or while walking. Pain that is worsened by squeezing the heel.
Low-grade inflammation of the calcaneal apophysis cannot be seen on x-ray. Therefore, although x-rays are often done to rule out bony injuries in children with Sever's disease these x-rays are
usually normal. Advanced Sever's disease can be seen on x-ray but usually the problem is treated before it reaches this point. Other diagnostic tests, such as bone scans or MRI's, are not usually
required in typical cases of Sever's disease. These, or other tests, may be required to rule out other conditions, such as stress fractures of the calcaneus or other bony abnormalities that can mimic
Non Surgical Treatment
First, your child should cut down or stop any activity that causes heel pain. Apply ice to the injured heel for 20 minutes 3 times a day. If your child has a high arch, flat feet or bowed legs, your
doctor may recommend orthotics, arch supports or heel cups. Your child should never go barefoot. If your child has severe heel pain, medicines such as acetaminophen (one brand name: Tylenol) or
ibuprofen (some brand names. Advil, Motrin, Nuprin) may help.