Sever's disease is a disorder that commonly occurs in active children between the ages of 9 and 13 years of age. Even though it is misnamed as a disease, it is actually a self-limiting disorder that
occurs around the growth plate in the back of the heel. The Achilles tendon attaches to the upper portion of the heel growth plate. On the bottom of the growth plate is an attachment of a ligament
known as the plantar fascia. With increased activity, there is a pulling or tugging that occurs on this growth plate, and a portion of the growth plate is being pulled away from its attachment to the
heel. X-rays are often taken to verify the position and location of this growth plate.
Sever's disease is caused by repetitive tension and/or pressure on the growth center of the heel. Running and jumping place a large amount of pressure on the heels and can cause pain. Children with
Sever's may limp or have an altered gait due to the pain. Risk factors for Sever's include tight calf muscles, weak ankle muscles, and alignment abnormalities at the foot and ankle. Sever's can also
result from wearing shoes without sufficient heel padding or arch support.
The condition can be quite disabling and tends to affect those who are very busy with sporting activities. In the initial stages of the condition, most children displaying signs of Severs disease
will tend to hobble or limp off the sports field or court and complain of sore heels near the end of activity. As the condition progresses, children may complain of pain during activity and in severe
cases prior to sporting activities. Kids heel pain can be quite discouraging for active children but, early treatment can resolve this type of foot pain in children very quickly.
Your Podiatrist or Physiotherapist will assist in diagnosing the injury and the extent of the damage. From this, they will develop a management plan which may include rest or activity modification,
soft tissue treatment such as massage and stretching, correction of biomechanics through heel raises or orthoses and the progression through a series of specific strengthening exercises.
Non Surgical Treatment
Physiotherapy treatment to improve range of the ankle and descrease soft tissue tightness. Orthotics to control excessive motion of the foot. Icing the painful area. Use of topical anti-inflammatory
cream. Taping of the foot during exercise. Stretching, only if recommended by the physiotherapist.