Sever's Disease causes heel pain in growing children. Its causes and treatment is discussed here.
If your Gainesville podiatrist has diagnosed your child with Sever's Disease, you may be very concerned. Naturally, hearing the word "disease" associated with your child's health can be frightening. However, it is the most common foot-related problem in growing children and young teens. Here, Prince William Foot and Ankle Center addresses some common questions.
What is Sever's Disease?
Clinically referred to as calcaneal apophysitis, Sever's Disease is an inflammation of the growth plate in the heel. Since this area of the body continues to grow until a child is at least 14 years old, new bone is still gradually forming in this area located on the back of the heel. Repetitive use while playing sports or a structural problem in the foot, such as a high arch, can cause the growth plate to become inflamed and painful.
How did this happen?
A significant growth spurt happens between 8 and 15 years of age. During the same period of time, kids are often involved in sports. Those that involve running and jumping on hard surfaces, such as soccer, track, or basketball, are often the culprit of Sever's Disease. Less commonly, it can occur as a complication of obesity.
How can it be treated?
A visit to Prince William Foot & Ankle Center will determine the cause of your child's heel pain. A physical examination and X-rays will not only help Dr. Bhakta diagnose Sever's Disease, but also rule out any other potential problems. After that, he will likely recommend reducing activities, wearing inserts or supports inside the shoe to cushion the area, and anti-inflammatory medication. More severe cases may need physical therapy or immobilization to promote healing.
Can it happen again?
Because of the continuing growth, there is a chance that Sever's Disease will recur. It can be prevented by wearing high-quality, supportive footwear, particularly during sports. It is also important not to urge children to engage in activities beyond their comfort or skill level.
If your child is complaining of foot pain, don't hesitate to contact Dr. Mukesh Bhakta, your Prince William County foot and ankle specialist, for a thorough evaluation.