Hey parents and grandparents of young athletes! Have you ever heard of calcaneal apophysitis (aka Sever’s Disease)?
Don’t worry, it’s not a real disease, but it is a common cause of heel pain with kids from about 9-12 years-old. This time of year I see calcaneal apophysitis most often.
After the summer break ends, a lot of kids get involved with sports teams for the fall/winter seasons. School gym class starts again too.
The gym activities or sports programs have the kids running, jumping, sprinting. ]All of the sudden and through no fault of their own, a child’s heel(s) starts hurting really bad, enough to make them limp.
The pain is usually bad enough to cause them to skip practices or games. The pain is no joke.
Calcaneal apophysitis is really an intense growing pain. Around the age of 9-12 years-old, the heel bone (calcaneus) is maturing.
The growth plate at the back of the heel is starting to calcify. But attached to that growth plate is the thickest tendon in the body… the Achilles Tendon.
When this tendon pulls the back of the heel bone the pain kicks in. The good news is that this condition doesn’t last forever, but it may take weeks or even months to resolve.
But just because you read this article or spoke with Doctor Google doesn’t mean this condition should be ignored. It is important to rule out other really bad things like stress fractures or even bone tumors (not trying to scare you).
Give Sohl Foot & Ankle a call at 267-699-3839 if your child athlete (or non-athlete) has heel pain that doesn’t resolve within a few days. We’ll help you figure it out and get them back to pain free activities as quickly as possible.
PHOTO CAP: Some growing pains are worse than others. Watch out for Sever’s Disease.