Heel pain in children and adolescence: is the most common osteochondrosis (disease that affects the bone growth). Osteochondrosis is seen only in children and teens whose bones are still growing of
the foot. Sever's disease or Apophysitis is a common condition that afflicts children usually between the ages of 8 to 15 years old. Often this is confused with plantar fasciitis which is rare in
children. This is a condition of inflammation of the heel's growth plates.
Inflammation occurs at the insertion of the achilles tendon into the back of the heel due to a number of reasons. One or several of the following may cause the initiation of Sever?s disease. Rapid
growth spurt. Tight calf muscles. Change in footwear (soccer boots / athletic shoes no heel). Excessive rolling in of feet. Poor warm up routine. Remember this condition usually settles as the growth
plate fuses within 6-12 months.
Pain is usually felt at the back of the heel and around the sides of the heel. If you squeeze the back of the heel from both sides simultaneously and pain is experienced Sever?s disease is more than
A Podiatrist can easily evaluate your child?s feet, to identify if a problem exists. Through testing the muscular flexibility. If there is a problem, a treatment plan can be create to address the
issue. At the initial treatment to control movement or to support the area we may use temporary padding and strapping and depending on how successful the treatment is, a long-term treatment plan will
be arranged. This long-term treatment plan may or may not involve heel raises, foot supports, muscle strengthening and or stretching.
Non Surgical Treatment
Reduce activity, avoid going barefoot, and cushion the child's heel with shock absorbency. It is very important that your child wear shoes with padded heel surfaces and shoes with good arch supports
even when not participating in sports. A heel cup or soft pediatric shoe insert is very important to reduce the pull from the calf muscles on the growth plate and to increase shock absorption and
reduce irritation. The use of an ice pack after activity for 20 minutes is often useful. Your health care provider may also prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or custom orthotics.
The surgeon may select one or more of the following options to treat calcaneal apophysitis. Reduce activity. The child needs to reduce or stop any activity that causes pain. Support the heel.
Temporary shoe inserts or custom orthotic devices may provide support for the heel. Medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, help reduce the pain and
inflammation. Physical therapy. Stretching or physical therapy modalities are sometimes used to promote healing of the inflamed issue. Immobilization. In some severe cases of pediatric heel pain, a
cast may be used to promote healing while keeping the foot and ankle totally immobile. Often heel pain in children returns after it has been treated because the heel bone is still growing. Recurrence
of heel pain may be a sign of calcaneal apophysitis, or it may indicate a different problem. If your child has a repeat bout of heel pain, be sure to make an appointment with your foot and ankle