S is for Severs Disease

November 3, 2012

This condition is common in kids; can not be diagnosed by x-ray; needs lot of stretching and a heel raise.

The above video from PodChatLive was a deep dive into the topic of Severs disease and its management.

Sever’s disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis, is a common condition that affects the growth plate in the heel bone (calcaneus) of growing children. It is not actually a disease but rather an overuse injury that occurs during periods of rapid growth.

Age and Development: Sever’s disease typically occurs in children between the ages of 8 and 14, usually during periods of accelerated growth. It is more common in physically active children, particularly those involved in activities that involve repetitive impact on the heels, such as running or jumping.

Cause: The exact cause of Sever’s disease is not fully understood, but it is believed to result from repetitive stress and strain on the growth plate of the heel bone. During periods of growth, the bones lengthen, but the muscles and tendons may not stretch enough to keep up with the bone growth, leading to increased tension and stress on the growth plate.

Symptoms: The most common symptom of Sever’s disease is heel pain, which is typically worse during or after physical activity, especially activities that involve running or jumping. The pain is usually localized to the back of the heel or the bottom of the foot. Swelling, redness, and tenderness may also be present.

Diagnosis: Diagnosis of Sever’s disease is usually based on the child’s medical history, symptoms, and a physical examination. X-rays may be ordered to rule out other conditions that can cause heel pain, such as fractures or bone tumors.

Treatment: Treatment for Sever’s disease focuses on relieving pain and reducing stress on the growth plate. Common treatment options include:
Rest: Reducing or avoiding activities that worsen the pain, such as running or jumping, can help alleviate symptoms.
Ice: Applying ice packs to the affected area for 15-20 minutes several times a day can help reduce pain and inflammation.
Stretching exercises: Stretching the calf muscles and Achilles tendon can help relieve tension and stress on the growth plate.
Supportive footwear: Wearing supportive shoes with cushioning and good arch support can help reduce strain on the heel.
Heel pads or orthotic inserts: These can provide additional cushioning and support to the heel, reducing pressure on the growth plate.

Prognosis: Sever’s disease is a self-limiting condition that usually resolves once the growth plate closes and the child stops growing. Most children recover fully within a few months to a year with appropriate treatment and lifestyle modifications.


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