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.
Sever?s disease is directly related to overuse of the bone and tendons in the heel. This can come from playing sports or anything that involves a lot of heel movement. It can be associated with
starting a new sport, or the start of a new season. Children who are going through adolescence are also at risk of getting it because the heel bone grows quicker than the leg. Too much weight bearing
on the heel can also cause it, as can excessive traction since the bones and tendons are still developing. It occurs more commonly in children who over-pronate, and involves both heels in more than
half of patients.
Pain in the lower calf and heel area which may be worse when applying pressure either side. Pain worse on activity especially those involving running or jumping. In severe cases this may cause the
child to limp when walking. One or both heels affected.
Radiography. Most of the time radiographs are not helpful because the calcaneal apophysis is frequently fragmented and dense in normal children. But they can be used to exclude other traumas.
Ultrasonography. could show the fragmentation of secondary nucleus of ossification of the calcaneus in severs?s disease. This is a safe diagnostic tool since there is no radiation. This diagnostic
tool can also be used to exclude Achilles tendinitis and/or retrocalcaneal bursitis.
Non Surgical Treatment
Although most cases do get better on their own, recovery typically takes several weeks or months. Adolescents can continue to play sports if the activity does not cause discomfort, but staying active
does prolong the recovery period without treatment. As a result, rest and avoidance of athletic activity is usually recommended, along with medication for pain and swelling.
Can Calcaneal Apophysitis Be Prevented? The chances of a child developing heel pain can be reduced by avoiding obesity. Choosing well-constructed, supportive shoes that are appropriate for the
child?s activity. Avoiding or limiting wearing of cleated athletic shoes. Avoiding activity beyond a child?s ability.