Sever’s Disease isn’t in truth a disease at all, but a heel injury caused by growth spurts in children. If your child is experiencing foot pain, our surgeons, of Kinetic Foot and Ankle Clinic in Greenwood Village, Colorado, are highly skilled foot and ankle surgeons who have the expertise to treat children with Sever’s Disease. Call the clinic today to make an appointment, or use the online booking tool.

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What is Sever’s Disease?

Sever’s Disease, or calcaneal apophysitis, is an inflammation of the tendon in the heel. As children grow, they go through growth spurts, and sometimes the heel bone grows at a faster rate than the surrounding tissues. The accelerated bone growth causes muscles and tendons to stretch and become too tight.

Children who play sports regularly, particularly those that involve running and jumping, are particularly prone to Sever’s Disease because the extra strain placed on tendons by the shock of the impact on hard surfaces causes further stretching. That means children who play soccer or basketball, or who run track are most vulnerable to Sever’s Disease.

Sever’s Disease can also be caused by:

  • Tight Achilles tendon
  • Flat feet
  • High arches

What are the symptoms of Sever’s Disease?

The stretching and inflammation of the tendons lead to symptoms such as:

  • Pain in the heels that worsens after exercise
  • Pain that is worse when wearing footwear
  • Swelling in the heel area
  • Skin reddening in the heel
  • Increase in pain when squeezing the back of the heel
  • Difficulties walking
  • Moving with a limp
  • Trying to walk on tiptoes

Sever’s Disease is seen more often in boys, usually between the ages of 10 and 15, whereas girls tend to get it younger, between the ages of eight and 13.

How Is Sever’s Disease Treated?

Rest is often the best cure, allowing time for the tendon to heal. You should make sure your child isn’t undertaking strenuous exercise until the foot heals, and any return to physical activities should be started and increased gradually. You can also use ice packs or coolant gels to reduce inflammation and swelling.

Our surgeons may recommend further treatments to help ease the pressure on the tendon and allow it to heal, such as:

  • Orthotic shoe inserts
  • Stretching exercises
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Using a cast to immobilize the foot

The good news is that Sever’s Disease only affects children as they grow, so once your child reaches physical maturity, they won’t be at risk. If your child has pain in their feet, make an appointment to see our surgeons and find out what’s causing the pain and how best to treat it. Call Kinetic Foot and Ankle today, or book online.