What to do about Severs Disease?

severs disease

What is it?
Severs disease is a problem of the growth area in children at the back of the heel bone. It is considered an overuse injury and is more common in active kids, overweight kids and those that are taller. It is only a problem around ages 10-12 as from the early teenage years the growth plate merges with the rest of the heel bone and it can not be a problem. It is not really a disease and is more appropriately called calcaneal apophysitis.

What can you do about it?
Severs disease is best managed with reducing the activity levels and using cushioned heel pads as well as applying ice after exercise if it is particularly painful. Education and understanding the nature of the conditions is important. The condition is self limiting and it will go away on its own eventually, so its a matter of managing the symptoms.

When to see the doctor?
It is often asked: “How long does Severs disease last?” The answer will depend on how much activity is reduced. If all activity is cut out, then is will heal up very quickly. However, that is almost impossible to achieve in children. You should see the podiatrist or doctor if the pain is severe or the child is not getting better or if they are not complying with the activity reduction, as often an “authority” figure other than the parents to get them to cut back is needed.

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