Sever’s Disease (Calcaneal Apophysitis)
What is it?
This is a condition common in active children from the ages of 9-13. When we are born, our heel bone is actually split in two parts, with a thick band of cartilage in between those 2 parts. As we get older and our feet grow to their full length, this cartilage starts to close over. If the Achilles tendon is pulling too much on the back of the heel, it can irritate this growth plate and cause considerable pain in kids.
Why is it happening now?
Inflammation of the growth plate with associated pain can occur from numerous contributing factors, such as:
- Tight calf muscles
- Very active kids that do a lot of running
- Sports that involve wearing boots such as soccer, football, etc
- Recent growth spurts
Can it be fixed?
Yes! Most kids with Sever’s disease will experience very significant pain and discomfort for approximately 1 season of their chosen sport, sometimes longer. Although this problem will often resolve, it is important to manage the symptoms in the meantime so your child can remain active and enjoy participating in sporting activities. Your podiatrist will be able to advise you on some of the ways this pain can be managed, such as:
- Strapping of the foot and ankle
- Better footwear
- Heel pads or raises
- Rest from activities