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Douglas Pacaccio, DPM
Thomas Nordquist, DPM

Heel Pain in Your Child

Tuesday, 02 July 2024 00:00

Heel pain in children can be concerning for parents, especially when it interrupts their child's active lifestyle. One common cause of heel pain is Sever's disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis. Typically affecting children aged eight to 12 during periods of rapid growth, Sever's disease is characterized by pain or tenderness in one or both heels, often worsened by physical activity. Symptoms may include mild swelling surrounding the heel bone and limping, especially after exercise. The underlying cause lies in growth spurts where bones, muscles, and tendons grow and change quickly. This makes the growth plate in the heel more susceptible to injury. The Achilles tendon, in particular, can become tight as the bones in the lower leg grow, adding stress to the heel’s growth plate. Activities like running and jumping, especially when combined with wearing sports shoes with studs, can increase the risk. While Sever's disease does not typically lead to long-term problems, it is important to manage the symptoms to prevent disruption in daily activities. Encouraging rest and avoiding activities that cause pain can help alleviate symptoms. If your child exhibits or complains of heel pain, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam and treatment.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see one of our podiatrists from Advanced Foot and Ankle Surgeons, Inc. . Our doctors can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Sycamore, and Yorkville, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

Read more about Sever's Disease
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