Sever's Disease A Guide to the Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

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www. pediatricfootankle.com Sever’s Disease A Guide to the Causes Symptoms Treatment How to determine if your child’s heel pain is caused by Sever’s Disease 1 www. pediatricfootankle.com

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www. pediatricfootankle.com 2 What is Sever’s Disease Sever’s disease is an inflammation of the growth plate in the heel. It is the most common cause of heel pain in children and results from a dramatic growth spurt when the heel bone grows at a faster rate than the muscles and tendons surrounding it.

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www. pediatricfootankle.com 3 Causes of Sever’s Disease Severs disease is caused by repetitive stress to the heel during a growth spurt when the childs heel bone is growing faster than the muscles tendons and ligaments in their leg. Severs is most common in active children who participate in sports especially ones with running or jumping.

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www. pediatricfootankle.com 4 Increased Risk of Sever’s Disease The following conditions may increase your child’s chances of developing Sever’s disease. A pronated foot or a foot that rolls at the ankle when walking. This may cause a twisting and tightness of the Achilles tendon which increases the pull on the heel’s growth plate. High or flat arches which can affect the heel’s angle within the foot. Being overweight or suffering from obesity which may put additional pressure on the growth plate. Short leg syndrome. This is when one leg is shorter than the other one. Thus forcing the shorter leg to bend down in order to reach the ground. 2 1 3 4

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www. pediatricfootankle.com 5 Symptoms of Sever’s Disease Tenderness or pain in either one or both heels is the most obvious sign of Sever’s disease. This usually occurs in the back. However it is possible for the pain to also go down the sides and the bottom of the heel right around the arch of the foot.

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www. pediatricfootankle.com 6 Other Symptoms May Include Difficulty with walking Discomfort if the heel is squeezed on both sides Redness or swelling of the heel When walking the feet are stiff or discomforted Walking unusually to avoid putting pressure on the heel by walking on one’s tiptoes or with a limp.

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www. pediatricfootankle.com 7 Sever’s Disease Treatment • The primary concern of treating this disease is to relieve the pain. Since activity tends to make the symptoms worse the main treatment is to rest. This will relieve the pressure on the heel bone and decrease the swelling while reducing pain. • The doctor will usually direct the child to cut back on all activities and sports until the swelling goes down and the pain is gone

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www. pediatricfootankle.com 8 Other Recommendations for Treating Sever’s Do leg and foot exercises that focus on strengthening and stretching leg tendons and muscles. Use a compression stocking – to decrease swelling and pain. Elevate the leg and apply ice not directly to the skin. Do this for twenty minutes up to three times a day. It should be done even on days when the pain is not bad. This will help reduce the swelling. Ingest over-the-counter medications that focus on reducing swelling and pain. These include acetaminophen like Tylenol or ibuprofen like Advil and Motrin not aspirin. Overweight or Obese Children – the odds are good that the doctor will recommend a weight loss regimen in order to decrease the pressure on the heel. If your child has a severe case of Sever’s disease the doctor may want him or her to wear a cast between 2 to 12 weeks. This will immobilize the foot so it has a better chance of healing.

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www. pediatricfootankle.com Conclusion If a child is suffering from pediatric heel pain that affects both the bottom and back of the heel then they may have a condition called Sever’s Disease. If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about Sever’s Disease call 480 534-7220 or visit PediatricFootAnkle.com. Pediatric Foot Ankle provides pediatric podiatry services to patients in Phoenix Arizona. The team treats a wide array of childrens foot ailments including conditions theyre prone to due to rapid growth such as Severs disease and pediatric heel pain. 9

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