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Anatomy and Causes of Sever's Disease

Tuesday, 18 June 2024 00:00

Sever's disease, a common cause of heel pain in growing children, involves inflammation of the growth plate in the heel. This condition occurs during periods of rapid growth, typically affecting active children aged eight to 14. The growth plate, or epiphyseal plate, is an area of developing cartilage tissue at the end of long bones. In Sever's disease, repetitive stress from activities like running and jumping causes inflammation and pain in the heel. Factors such as tight calf muscles, flat feet, or high arches can worsen the condition by increasing tension on the growth plate. Understanding the anatomy of the growing heel and the mechanical stresses involved is vital for identifying and managing Sever's disease. Rest, stretching exercises, and wearing supportive footwear are effective measures to alleviate symptoms and promote healing. If your active child has heel pain, it is suggested that you contact a podiatrist who can accurately diagnose and treat Sever’s disease.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Dr. Lee R. Stein from Lake Shore Foot & Ankle, PC. Our doctor can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.


Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Chicago, Highland Park, and Uptown, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

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