Sever?s disease is a condition that occurs in children during the growth spurt of adolescence, typically between the ages of 8 and 13 for girls and 10 and 15 for boys. It is often painful but can be
treated early with good results. Sever?s disease occurs when the growth plate in the heel begins to swell. Sever?s disease often occurs during the same period in a child?s growth as Osgood-Schlatter
Sever?s disease is caused by repetitive tension and/or pressure on the growth center of the heel. Running and jumping place a large amount of pressure on the heels and can cause pain. Children with
Sever?s may limp or have an altered gait due to the pain. Risk factors for Sever's include tight calf muscles, weak ankle muscles, and alignment abnormalities at the foot and ankle. Sever?s can also
result from wearing shoes without sufficient heel padding or arch support.
Signs and symptoms of Sever?s disease include heel pain can be in one or both heels, and it can come and go over time. Many children walk or run with a limp, they may walk on their toes to avoid
pressure on their heels. Heel pain may increase with running or jumping, wearing stiff, hard shoes (ex. soccer cleats, flip-flops) or walking barefoot. The pain may begin after increasing physical
activity, such as trying a new sport or starting a new sports season.
A physical exam of the heel will show tenderness over the back of the heel but not in the Achilles tendon or plantar fascia. There may be tightness in the calf muscle, which contributes to tension on
the heel. The tendons in the heel get stretched more in patients with flat feet. There is greater impact force on the heels of athletes with a high-arched, rigid foot. The doctor may order an x-ray
because x-rays can confirm how mature the growth center is and if there are other sources of heel pain, such as a stress fracture or bone cyst. However, x-rays are not necessary to diagnose Sever?s
disease, and it is not possible to make the diagnosis based on the x-ray alone.
Non Surgical Treatment
To help relieve pain, give your child nonprescription pain medicine, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen, as directed by your child?s provider. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines
(NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, may cause stomach bleeding and other problems. Read the label and take as directed. Unless recommended by your healthcare provider, your child should not
take the medicine for more than 10 days. Check with your healthcare provider before you give any medicine that contains aspirin or salicylates to a child or teen. This includes medicines like baby
aspirin, some cold medicines, and Pepto-Bismol. Children and teens who take aspirin are at risk for a serious illness called Reye's syndrome. Ask your child?s healthcare provider, How and when you
will hear your child?s test results. How long it will take for your child to recover. What activities your child should avoid and when your child can return to normal activities. How to take care of
your child at home. What symptoms or problems you should watch for and what to do if your child has them. Make sure you know when your child should come back for a checkup.
Because there are several theories as to the actual cause of the disease, there is no definitive answer on prevention. Experts agree, though, that youth athletes can help minimize the risk of Sever's
disease by maintaining good joint and muscle flexibility while engaging in sports or physical activities.