Posts for tag: Sever's Disease

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
September 26, 2018
Category: heel pain

At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we know that getting to the bottom of children’s foot pain can be tricky. Depending on the age of your child, it may be difficult to even know they have a foot problem because he or she may not be able to articulate fully the discomfort they are experiencing. In young children, parents may have to do a bit of sleuthing. If your child appears to be limping or walking in a funny way, complains that their legs are “tired,” or they seem to be avoiding physical activities and games they usually enjoy, these may be signs of foot pain. Ask your child to show you where on their foot it hurts. If they indicate the heel, here are a few potential causes:

Sever’s Disease—this is an inflammation of the growth plate which is at the back of the heel. Sever’s Disease is the most frequent cause of heel pain in children between the ages of 8 and 15. During those years the heel bone is in the process of developing. The area where new bone growth is forming is sensitive to repetitive stress and pounding. Sports activities such as soccer, basketball, gymnastics, and track can cause this area to become inflamed, which leads to severe pain that worsens with activity.

Plantar fasciitis—along the bottom of the foot, running from the heel to the toes, is a long band of tissue known as the plantar fascia. When the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, it can cause pain in the heel. Plantar fasciitis is most often caused by biomechanical dysfunction such as overly high arches or flat feet. Being overweight can increase the risk for this condition.

Poorly fitting shoes—sometimes heel pain in children is not from a medical condition but merely from shoes that don’t fit properly or are not correct for a particular activity. Too much time in cleats has been linked to Sever’s Disease. Children’s shoes should have adequate arch support and a cushioned sole that provides shock absorption for typical children’s activities. If your child has had a previous foot injury or is currently being treated for a chronic podiatric condition, check with our podiatrists, Dr. Ben Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah for recommendations of specific shoe designs that may best accommodate your child’s foot.

If your child is experiencing foot pain or you suspect there is a problem, contact our Edison, Monroe, Monmouth Junction or Linden office in New Jersey today for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
September 06, 2016
Tags: Sever's Disease  

Fall brings a new school year, the start of the fall sports season and, for some children and teens, a painful heel condition known at Sever’s Disease, which we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care see often in young athletes. Not actually a “disease,” this disorder occurs when the growth plate at the back of the heel becomes inflamed, making playing a sport and even simply walking a challenge.

Risk Factors

Sever’s Disease (also known as calcaneal apophysitis) usually strikes children ages 8 to 14. The heel bone is still developing during this phase of a child’s life and the new bone is forming at the growth plate creating a weak spot in the heel. When there is an excessive amount of repetitive pounding and stress on the foot, inflammation can flare up causing severe pain.

It’s important to recognize the signs of Sever’s Disease, particularly in children on the younger side who may not be able to articulate the discomfort in their ankles. Other symptoms you may notice include:

  • Pain when the sides of the heel are being squeezed
  • Limping
  • Walking on tip toes
  • Difficulty running or participating in sports usually enjoyed
  • Tiredness or complaints of not wanting to play

The main source of this disorder is overuse and stress due to a sport. Participants in two fall sports in particular—track and soccer—which involve a good amount of running and pounding on the heel, have a higher risk of developing Sever’s Disease. There are other factors that can make a child more prone to Sever’s Disease and these include: a tight Achilles tendon, biomechanical foot problems like a high arch or flatfeet and obesity.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah will need to examine your child’s foot and find out about his or her activities. The podiatrist may also want x-rays or other imaging studies done to better evaluate the heel and rule out other conditions or injuries.

Once a diagnosis of Sever’s Disease is confirmed, the foot doctor has a number of non-invasive treatment options including: physical therapy, immobilization, custom orthotics and medication. A treatment plan will be created to suit your child’s particular needs.

As a parent, it’s important not to ignore a child’s complaints of foot pain. Early detection and treatment of foot problems leads to the best results with less chance of chronic issues later on. If your child is experiencing any foot or ankle discomfort, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment today.