If you have noticed your child complaining of heel pain, especially with activity, you are not alone. Sever’s disease (aka calcaneal apophysitis) is a common growth plate injury in children, usually seen between the ages of 8 and 12. There is a large zone of growing bone in the back of the heel where the Achilles tendon attaches. Impact and tendon stress from running can cause a bruising and inflammation of that very sensitive growth center. Pain can be located anywhere from the back to the bottom of the heel. We see a greater onset of this complaint in the spring and fall coinciding with seasonal sports such as soccer and football.
Treatment includes rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medicines. Heel cups and pads can help, but your child may benefit from Orthotics. These are prescription inserts for shoes fabricated from plaster molds of the feet. They cup and cushion the heel as well as stabilizing and protecting the growth plate. Most insurances cover orthotics for this condition.
With proper protection your child should be able to continue participating in sports. In more severe cases, decreasing or even eliminating activity for a period of time may be necessary.
A thorough exam by our office can determine the best course of action to keep your child healthy and active!
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