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Posts for tag: Calcaneal apophysitis

Sever's Disease: Growth Plate Injury in a Child's Heel

We would like to talk about a common heel pain condition that we see in children and adolescents between the ages of 8-16. Sever's Disease or Calcaneal apophsitis is a growth plate injury of the heel often misdiagnosed as plantar fascitis. We are starting to see this injury more often most likely because of year round travel sport teams as well young children specializing in one sport without  variety as well as much needed rest. This is typically an overuse injury of the growth plate of the heel. The heel bone is called the "calcaneus" and has an important growth plate at the base. Boys from 8 to 14 and Girls 7 to 13 can have pain develop in this area either from the pull of the achilles tendon, or the pull of the plantar fascia. We see this in sports such as basketball, running, baseball, gymnastics, and tennis. After those ages, the growth plates will fuse and there can no longer be a source of pain. This form of heel pain can disrupt activity and be frustrating for children as well as their parents. If recognized and diagnosed promptly, conservative treatment will usually resolve this condition rather quickly.
     The basic rule is to create a pain free environment with no limping. Treatment consist of ice, oral NSAIDS, stretching, achilles/plantar fascial night splint, heel lifts/heel cushions, custom orthotics, physical therapy, and in extreme cases cam walker boot/cast immobilization. Physical therapy modalities such as electrical stimulation, iontophoresis, dry needling of the calf, and achilles stretching can be useful ways to resolve this condition. Brief modification of exercise routine to more low impact can help the growth plate to heal.
If your children are suffering from heel pain it is important to have them seen as soon as possible. The faster that this condition is recognized and treated the quicker your children will have resolution of heel pain which will allow them to resume to the sports that they love to participate in.
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Calcaneal Apophysitis is the most common cause of heel pain in young athletes. Recently Aaron Thornton a elite high school soccer player was interviewed by Jermel President (Former College of Charleston basketball star) about this foot condition and how he was treated by Carolina Foot Specialists with Custom Sports Orthotics. Below our two links one is some general information about growth plate heel injuries in young athletes and a youtube video interview with Aaron and his experience with Carolina Foot Specialists.

Jermel President former College of Charleston basketball star has created a Foundation called the DAE Foundation. Jermel came by our office this week to tape a show that will air this Sunday on DAE TV. The focus was on discussing the most common heel injury in young athletes, "calcaneal apophysitis." In addition Jermel interviewed one of the Lowcountry's top soccer players that suffered with this injury. The segment also included interviews with some of Dr. Saffer's patients and Dr. Saffer as well. Below is the link.

DAE TV will air Sundays at 7:20 pm from the Hampton Inn and Suites in West Ashley. The show will consist of a wide range of topics from sports, business, community events and politics.

Go to to subscribe. DAE TV is a weekly show that airs Sundayat 7:20pm, "stae tuned and tune in"....DAE TV.

Jermel has created the "Oatmeal Recipe." The DAE Foundation will begin the Oatmeal Recipe program in January 2015. The program, created by College of Charleston alum Jermel President, will train and guide young student-athletes throughout their elementary, middle and high school careers. Fifty kids will be chosen from different Tri-County schools, based on their academic performance to participate.

Carolina Foot Specialists is supporting this program. The program focuses on three main elements which are education, skill developement, and nutrition.


Coming soon.DAE TV UPDATE: stae tuned as we talk about a major injury in young athletes....Calcaneal Apophysitis....

Read up on it and hear more from Dr. Andrew Saffer, coming soon on DAE TV