Sever’s Disease

Parents always strive to provide the best for their children, taking care of their needs to ensure they grow up healthy and happy. However, despite our best efforts, children may experience some health issues from time to time. 

One such common problem that children may face is heel pain caused by Sever’s disease. The good news is this: with proper care and attention, it can be treated, and your child can return to enjoying their activities in no time.

What is Sever’s Disease?

Sever’s disease is a condition that can be quite distressing for both parents and children. It affects the heel bone in children and is also referred to as calcaneal apophysitis. It can cause discomfort and pain, making it difficult for children to enjoy daily activities.

This condition occurs when there is inflammation in the growth plate of the heel bone due to excessive stress or tension. It is commonly seen in children who engage in sports activities that involve running or jumping. 

If you think your child may have Sever’s disease, pursuing medical attention as soon as possible is essential. Our specialists can provide a proper diagnosis and recommend an appropriate treatment plan to help manage your child’s symptoms. 

woman touching child's heel

Understanding Sever’s Disease: Acute vs. Chronic

When it comes to Sever’s disease, there are two types: acute and chronic. Understanding the difference between these two types is important because it can impact the treatment options that will be most effective for your child’s recovery.

Acute Sever’s disease is a sudden onset of pain in the heel that occurs during physical activity. It may be accompanied by swelling or redness in the affected area. The pain may be intense, and your child may experience difficulty walking or putting weight on their heel. Acute Sever’s disease typically lasts for a short period of time, but it can still impact your child’s ability to enjoy their daily activities.

Chronic Sever’s disease, on the other hand, is a more long-term condition. The pain and discomfort may come and go over a period of several weeks or even months. Your child may experience stiffness and tenderness in the affected area, and complain of a dull ache rather than a sharp pain. Chronic Sever’s disease can be more challenging to treat but can be managed effectively with proper care and attention.

What are the Symptoms?

Sever’s disease can be identified by its distinctive symptoms, which are usually felt in the heel area. Here are some common indications to look out for:

  • Pain in the heel area, which can be sharp or dull.
  • Worsening of pain during or after physical activities.
  • Tenderness or swelling in the affected area.
  • Stiffness in the feet, especially in the morning or after a long period of rest.
  • Difficulty walking or running, especially when barefoot.
  • Redness or warmth in the heel area.

If your child is currently experiencing any of these signs, it is crucial to seek medical attention. Early diagnosis and treatment can help manage the pain and prevent further complications.

What Ages Does It Affect?

Sever’s disease usually affects children between the ages of 8 to 15 years old during their growth spurts. It is more typical in boys than in girls, and children who are overweight or obese may have a notably higher risk of developing the condition.

How to Treat Sever’s Disease?

Fortunately, this is a self-limiting condition, which means it will ultimately go away on its own as your child’s heel bone matures. However, there are several things that you can do to manage your child’s symptoms and make them feel more comfortable. Here are some ways to manage Sever’s disease:

  • Encourage your child to rest and stay away from activities that put pressure on the affected foot. This can include running, jumping, or any other high-impact sports.
  • Apply ice to the concerned area for 15-20 minutes, three times a day. This can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
  • Consider using heel cups or shoe inserts to cushion and support your child’s foot. These can help distribute pressure more evenly and reduce the strain on the heel bone. Custom orthotics will provide the best help. 
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Always consult with our doctors before administering medication to your child.
  • Stretching routines can help improve flexibility and reduce stiffness in the feet. Consult with our podiatrists for specific exercises.
  • For chronic cases, a combination of physical therapy, stretching exercises, and custom orthotics may be necessary to manage symptoms and prevent further injury.

It is important to remember that every child’s case of Sever’s disease is unique, and treatment may vary depending on the severity of their symptoms. Consult with our podiatrists for a personalized treatment plan.

When Should You Schedule an Appointment?

If your child’s symptoms do not improve over time, it may be time to seek medical attention. Your child’s doctor or our podiatrists can perform a physical exam and may order X-rays to rule out other possible conditions. They may also recommend other treatments, such as physical therapy or custom orthotics, to provide additional support and cushioning to the affected area.

Expert Care for Your Child’s Foot Health: Visit Texas Foot and Ankle Center

At Texas Foot and Ankle Center, we understand how concerning it can be to see your child in pain. Our team of skilled and compassionate podiatrists is dedicated to helping your child feel better—and get back to their active lifestyle!

We take a personalized approach to developing a treatment plan tailored to your child’s needs. We offer various treatment options to manage symptoms and ensure a speedy recovery from conditions like Sever’s disease. Whether acute or chronic, we will work with you and your child to find the best solution.

Do not wait for your child’s pain to worsen, plan your visit with us today or call (214) 660-0777 to get the care and attention your child deserves. At Texas Foot and Ankle Center, we are committed to helping your child enjoy their childhood to the fullest.