Has your child been complaining of heel pain? Sever's disease may be the reason. Dr. Mukesh Bhakta of Prince William Foot & Ankle Center offers treatment for the disease and other foot and ankle conditions that affect your family's feet in his offices in Gainesville and South Riding, VA.
What is Sever's Disease?
Sever's disease, formally known as calcaneal apophysitis, is a painful inflammation that affects the growth plate in the heel. Growth plates are areas of cartilage found at the ends of the long bones in a child's body. As he or she grows, the cartilage is gradually replaced with bone.
The disease typically affects kids during a puberty-related growth spurt. It's most common in girls between the ages of 8 and 13 and boys between 10 and 15. During this time, it's not unusual for growth to occur very quickly. Sometimes, the heel bone grows faster than the muscles and tendons, which can cause them to tighten and place too much pressure on the bone. Fortunately, symptoms usually go away on their own after a few weeks or months.
What are the symptoms of Sever's disease?
These signs and symptoms often occur in children who have Sever's disease:
- Pain at the back of one or both heels
- Redness and swelling over the heel
- Stiffness first thing in the morning
- Trouble walking (particularly if your child has been very active)
Who get's Sever's disease?
Although any child can develop Sever's disease, it's more common in children who participate in sports that require jumping or running and may also be more likely to occur if your son or daughter is overweight or obese. Other risk factors include rolling the foot inward when walking, arches that are either flat or too high or differences in leg length.
How is Sever's disease treated?
Although convincing your son or daughter to stay off his or her feet for a few weeks may not be so easy, rest is an important part of your child's recovery. Your child's Gainesville or South Riding foot doctor may recommend exercises to stretch the muscles and tendons, heel pads or lifts to cushion the heel and reduce strain, or orthotics for flat feet or high arches. Shoes with plenty of cushioning will help reduce pain.
Does your child have any of the symptoms of Sever's disease? A visit to your Gainesville or South Riding, VA, foot doctor can help relieve his or her pain. Call (703) 753-3338 to schedule an appointment with podiatrist Dr. Bhakta of Prince William Foot & Ankle Center.