Children’s Podiatry - Severs Disease

Sever’s disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis, is a common heel injury for children between the ages of 8 – 15. It occurs when the growth plate in the heel swells and inflames, mainly due to growth spurts, and inconjuction with poor foot function and poor foot mechanics. It often presents as pain during and after activity and sport and pain is so excruciating and sore that it causes the child to 'limp' of the field.

Sever’s disease can be caused by overexercising and physical activity in combination with excessive pronation of feet being a major contributing factor in the development of sever's condition.  Excess pronation of the rearoot causes extra pressure to the heels which causes inflammation and swelling of the calcaneal epiphyseal plate.  It's mainly noticeable in boys with sports that involve running and jumping on hard surfaces such as basketball and gymnastics.  In very severe cases, the growth plate can be detached (confirmed with x-ray) from the calcaneus and microfractures can be present.

Treatment for Severs disease is usually quite simple and involves addressing foot mechanics with the use of orthotics to control rearfoot motion and pronation to effectively decrease pressure of the growth plate of the heel.  Heel raises are also used with orthotics therapy to reduce elongation of the achilles tendon which will help in reducing inflammation.  Sport should be avoided during the initial stages of the condition to reduce inflammation.  Other modalities that are effective in treating sever's are deep tissue massage, strapping and mobolisations/manipulations of the joints.  In the case of microfractures, detachment of the growth plate and extreme pain non weightbearing modalities like plaster casting or even referral for a surgical opinion in the case of fractures.  

If you are concerned about your child suffering from Sever’s Disease, let us put your mind at ease. At Bankstown Podiatry Clinic, our experienced Podiatrist can help with a range of conditions – call us for a friendly chat on (02) 9791 5798 or visit our conveniently located offices in Bankstown or Five Dock, Sydney.