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Children and adolescents with heel pain may be suffering from Sever’s disease, or calcaneal apophysitis. This condition is an inflammation of the growth plate in the heel which can cause foot pain and discomfort. If you have a child who is experiencing heel pain, they may have calcaneal apophysitis. The orthopedic specialists at DOCS Health offer Sever’s disease treatment at our state-of-the-art medical center in Los Angeles.

Causes and Symptoms of Calcaneal Apophysitis

As bones grow, many have growth plates that are located at the end of the bone. Growth plates are cartilage that is eventually replaced with bone once a child is fully grown. In Sever’s disease, the affected growth plate is located at the bottom of the heel where the Achilles tendon attaches the heel to the calf muscle. Stress on the heel growth plate from the Achilles tendon while running and jumping can cause irritation and inflammation, leading to Sever’s disease. Symptoms include:

  • Heel pain on the bottom of one or both heels
  • Pain worsens when running, jumping or playing high-impact sports
  • Swelling of affected heel or heels
  • Tenderness on the affected heel or heels

Rest and limiting activity that causes heel pain is often the only Sever’s disease treatment needed. However, some children or teens may need several months of lowered activity to relieve the inflammation, followed by physical therapy or a strengthening program. Other treatments that may be needed include wearing heel pads, orthotics to raise the heel and the use of anti-inflammatory medications. Severe cases of calcaneal apophysitis may require wearing a walking boot to relieve the inflammation and pain.

If you have a child, adolescent or teen with heel pain, contact us at DOCS Health. We can schedule an exam with an orthopedic foot specialist at our medical clinic in Los Angeles for diagnosis and Sever’s disease treatment, if needed.