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By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
October 19, 2017
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With fall sports in full swing, we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care are beginning to see more young people in our office with calcaneal apophysitis or Sever’s Disease, as it is more commonly known. This condition typically affects children ages 8 to 14. It is an inflammation of the growth plate that is usually the result of excessive pounding on the heel in a sport such as basketball, track or soccer. Until the heel is fully developed, there is a vulnerable area at the back where new bone is continually forming. This spot can become inflamed with overuse.

Signs and Symptoms

Tracking down foot disorders in children, particularly those on the younger side can be challenging since they are not always able to articulate what specifically is bothering them. Some signs that your child may be suffering with Sever’s Disease include:

  • Pain, sometimes quite severe, in the back or bottom of the heel
  • Tenderness or pain when the sides of the heel are squeezed
  • Limping
  • Walking on tiptoes
  • Unusual gait or difficulty running and jumping
  • Complaints of tiredness
  • Lack of desire to participate in activities he or she normally enjoys

Treatment

If you notice any of these symptoms in your child or he or she complains of heel pain, it’s time to make an appointment at our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction, NJ office. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah will get a medical history and want to know about recent sports activities. An x-ray, other imaging studies or laboratory tests may be ordered in addition to the physical examination to rule out other more serious conditions. Once a diagnosis of calcaneal apophysitis is confirmed, the foot doctor will want your child to stop or greatly reduce any activities that aggravate the heel. There are a number of treatment options available, including:

  • Immobilization—a cast or boot may be necessary to keep the foot and ankle from moving so the heel can rest and heal
  • Physical therapy—stretching and other modalities may be prescribed to help reduce inflammation and heal damaged tissue
  • Orthotics—shoe inserts may be recommended to provide support and cushioning for the affected heel

The foot doctor will decide on the best treatment for your child. It is not uncommon for Sever’s Disease to recur until your child gets into his or her late teen years. If you suspect your child may be suffering from this condition, contact us for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050.

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