No parent is happy when their child is in pain. Seeing your child struggle while playing their favorite sport or experiencing pain while walking is tough. You may not realize it, but your child could have Sever’s disease. This condition sounds scary, but luckily, it’s quite treatable.

At North Central Texas Foot & Ankle, with offices in Decatur and Roanoke, our experienced podiatrists are able to diagnose and treat a wide variety of foot and ankle issues in children, including Sever’s disease. You may have questions about Sever’s disease and how to spot it. In this blog, we go over everything you need to know about Sever’s disease.

What is Sever’s disease?

In young children and adolescents, a layer of cartilage — a growth plate — sits near the end of each long bone in the body. Growth plates allow for new bone growth and add width and length to the bones. As children grow, the growth plates become solid bone, at which point they are considered closed. Once the growth plates close, the bones no longer grow. This typically occurs at the end of puberty.

Sever’s disease is a condition in which the growth plate in your child’s heel becomes irritated and swollen. As your child goes through puberty and the growth spurts that come with it, their muscles, tendons, and bones grow at different speeds. This can cause the muscles and tendons to tighten and pull on the growth plate. If your child plays sports or regularly does activities that put pressure and strain on their heels, they could injure the growth plate and develop Sever’s disease.

Signs and symptoms

It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish Sever’s disease from other foot injuries. If your child is active in sports, especially those that are played on hard surfaces and involve lots of jumping, they are at a higher risk of developing Sever’s disease. Some things to look for include:

  • Tenderness in one or both heels
  • Heel pain
  • Redness in the heel
  • Swelling
  • Limping
  • Foot stiffness when first waking up

For children, the most common cause of heel pain is Sever’s disease. Being aware of the signs and symptoms allows you to seek help for your child right away and get them back to the activities they love doing. Treatment is as simple as a regimen of pain medicine, icing the area, wearing compression socks or a walking boot, physical therapy if needed, and rest. Sever’s disease usually resolves itself within a couple of months, and once resolved, your child won’t experience it again.

It can be difficult to stay calm when your child is in pain. Just remember, when it comes to your child’s foot pain, there’s no need to worry. Samantha Childers, DPM and Ricky Childers, DPM at North Central Texas Foot & Ankle are here to help. Give us a call to set up an appointment or contact us through our website. We’ll determine whether your child is suffering from Sever’s disease, make a treatment plan and, very soon, your child will be on the mend!

Nov 9th, 2020

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