Severs Disease is a Common Problem of the Heel in Children


There are many different causes of heel pain in adults, but in kids the most common by far is a disorder known as Severs disease. As this is damage to the growing plate at the back of the heel bone, it cannot occur in adults. The most frequent age of developing is around the early teenage years or possibly a bit before. When we are born the heel bone expands from two parts, one being the main area of the heel bone and the other being the growth zone at the back of the heel bone. These two bits of bone are split up by a zone of cartilage material. Severs disease occurs when there is a lot of stress on that area of cartilage.

The leading causes are simply just too much activity done to increasing amounts so that the bone doesn't get enough time to adapt to the pressures that are put on the bone. Usually the child is involved in lots of sports activity, usually on hard surfaces. Tight calf muscles are also commonly present. The chief sign is pain around the sides of the heel bone at the back of the heel and pain on weightbearing. Increasing the amount of sporting activity also should make it worse.

The important approach to the treatment of Severs disease is a decrease in activity so that load on the growing zone of bone is minimized. Normally a cushioned heel lift is necessary to safeguard the area and lower the pull in the Achilles tendon. Ice after activity to help with pain can be useful. If this is not helping, an extra lowering of the amount of weightbearing activity is necessary and in the most difficult cases, a walking splint or cast is utilized to drastically minimize activity levels. If all this fails, which it sometimes does, then it is just a matter of managing it until the two areas of growing bone merge to form one and this will no longer be an issue. If you have any problems with this conditions, then see a good podiatrist,

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