Understanding Sever’s Disease

Calcaneal apophysitis, better known as Sever’s disease is the painful inflammation of the growth plate in the heel. The inflammation is believed to be from the recurring stress put on the growth plate. Sever’s disease is most common with heel pain in children, and can last up to several months.

Causes of Sever’s disease

The following conditions are possible causes of calcaneal apophysitis:

  • Physical activity while wearing footwear that do not provide proper support
  • Participating in sports and other activities that consist of repetitive movements that put stress on the feet, such as running and jumping
  • Having biomedical issues, such as flatfoot or high-arched foot
  • Having tighter lower leg muscles, typically being the Achilles tendon and the calf

Symptoms of Sever’s disease

These symptoms are common within people who have Sever’s Disease:

  • Limping that does not correspond to a sprained or broken bone in the foot or leg
  • Heel pain either on one or both sides
  • Having a difficult time while participating in sports or physical activity
  • Feeling more pain when the heel is squeezed

Diagnosis

In order for different conditions to be ruled out, podiatrists will acquire a detailed medical history and find out information about recent activity. The foot and leg will also be examined, typically with the use of an X-ray. The “squeeze test” will most likely be done, which is when the podiatrist squeezes the heel to test visible pain. There is a possibility that other tests and studies will be used for further examination.

Treatment for Sever’s disease

It is important to seek help from a professional in order to figure out what type of treatment is best for you.

The following options can be used seperately or all together to treat calcaneal apophysitis:

  • Reducing or stopping any sport or activity that can cause further inflammation or pain
  • Providing support to the heel with temporary shoes inserts or devices customized specifically for each heel
  • Taking medication that works to reduce inflammation and pain
  • Promoting the recovery of the heel with physical therapy or simple stretches
  • Wearing a cast to promote recovery in serious cases of Sever’s disease

If you have heel pain and inflammation, it is important to seek help from the Foot and Ankle Specialists of Illinois. To receive professional care and further information on Sever’s disease, contact us today.