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Sever's Disease

Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center -  - Foot and Ankle Surgeon

Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center

Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Phoenix, AZ & Maricopa, AZ

Growing pains can be quite literal when it comes to the heels of adolescents, especially boys. Called Sever’s disease, this painful condition is fairly common and, luckily, there’s much the podiatrists at Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center can do to bring relief. If you suspect your child may have Sever’s disease, call the Phoenix or Maricopa, Arizona, offices or use the online booking tool to set up an appointment.

Sever's Disease Q & A

What is Sever’s disease?

Children can grow at a dizzying rate, especially during adolescence, and sometimes their bodies have a hard time keeping up, especially if your child is active. Sever’s disease is a condition in which the growth plate in your child’s heel becomes inflamed due to repetitive stresses.

As your child grows, they have many growth plates throughout their bodies, which are areas of cartilage around the ends of their bones. This cartilage is what enables growing bones to develop and take their positions. When your child has finished growing, their growth plates close and are replaced by solid bone.

With Sever’s disease, the cartilage that makes up the growth plate becomes irritated and inflamed. The condition typically crops up among active 10- to 13-year olds who engage in running and jumping sports, such as soccer and basketball.

What are the symptoms of Sever’s disease?

The most obvious sign that Sever’s disease may be in play is pain in the heel bone (calcaneus). Your child may feel pain in one or both heels. The pain is usually most acute during activity as well as afterward, and the condition can worsen and cause inflammation in their Achilles tendon if it’s not treated properly.

Outside of pain, your child may also have slight swelling in their heel(s) as well as tenderness to the touch. Sever’s disease usually does not go away on its own and often worsens if untreated.

How is Sever’s disease diagnosed and treated?

The doctors at Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center have considerable experience helping their young patients with Sever’s disease. To start, they review the symptoms with your child and then they perform a thorough examination, which typically includes advanced imaging.

For problems such as these, Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center is equipped with advanced ultrasound, X-ray, and 3D imaging so they can accurately pinpoint the problem. If they diagnose Sever’s disease, they usually recommend one or more of the following treatments:

  • Limiting activity
  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Heel pads and orthotics
  • CAM walker immobilization

Commonly, if the pain is severe, your doctor may recommend a walking boot to allow time for the inflammation to go down and the heel to rest.

For more on Sever’s disease, call Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center or use the online booking tool.