Sever’s Disease is a very common heel injury amongst children and growing adolescents. It is a disorder of the bone and while it can be quite painful, the condition is usually temporary and has no known long-term effects.
Sever’s Disease occurs when the growth plate of the heel swells as a result of the heel bones growing faster than the muscles and tendons, causing them to tighten and overstretch. This makes the heel less flexible and puts pressure on the growth plate, causing it to become damaged, swollen, tender and painful.
The most common causes of this condition are:
The most obvious symptom of Sever’s Disease is pain in and around the heel, specifically at the back of the heel.
Swelling and redness may be visible and a person may experience heel pain during physical activities or exercise, particularly those involving running or jumping. Pain may increase after the conclusion of physical activity.
Dan Everson Podiatry can diagnose a case of Sever’s Disease through history taking, a physical examination of the foot and a Biomechanical Assessment to study your range of movement. It is likely your podiatrist will also squeeze the back and side of the heels and ask you to walk on your tiptoes to assess pain levels. More extensive tests for other causes may be required if the pain is persistent or continues during rest.
Other symptoms requiring careful examination include pain that disrupts sleep or significant swelling of the heel. An X-ray, ultrasound or MRI can be used to exclude the possibility of a more serious problem.
Sever’s Disease will resolve on its own when the foot is rested and the bones in the heel area have stopped growing. There is no known long-term disability resulting from the condition and symptoms typically subside within a 2 to 8 week period with the correct treatment. Nevertheless, it is still recommended to see a podiatrist for assessment and treatment. Below is a selection of the methods Dan Everson Podiatry recommends to treat Sever’s Disease and prevent a recurrence:
Dan Everson Podiatry recommends the following activities to help prevent Sever’s Disease: