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Calcaneal Apophysitis (Heel pain children)

If your child has been experiencing heel pain it may be a condition called Calcaneal Apophsitis or Sever''s Disease. We are seeing more of this condition over the past several years especially children that are involved with travel teams for sports. Calcaneal apophysitis is a painful inflammation of the growth plate of the heel. Typically it affects children between the ages of 8 and 14 because the heel bone is not fully developed. When there is repetitive stress on the growth plate inflammation can develop.

Calcaneal Apophisitis is the most common cause of heel pain in children. The cause of this condition is overuse and stress on the heel bone. Children who are involved in soccer, track, and basketball are especially prone to this injury. Tight achilles tendon, improper shoe gear, flatfeet and high arched feet are other potential causes.

Symptoms are typically pain in the bottom or back of the heel, walking on toes, difficulty running, and pain on the sides of the heel. Diagnosis is made through clinical exam and x-rays by your foot and ankle specialist.

Treatment involves rest, ice, NSAIDS, heel cushions, stretching, over the counter or custom orthotics, and education of the underlying cause of the condition. Sometimes for chronic pain immobilization with a cast or walking boot is needed.

Luckily if treated early enough the symptoms resolve fairly quickly. If your child is experiencing any heel pain at all please contact our office for an evaluation.