Sever's Disease | Everything you need to know



0:00 Introduction
0:41 Symptoms of Sever's Disease
1:06 Treatment for Sever's Disease
1:42 Prevention for Sever's Disease

Sever's disease, also known as calcaneus apophysitis, is an inflammation at the back of the heel (or calcaneus) growth plate in growing children. The condition is thought to be caused by repetitive stress at the heel. This condition is benign and common and usually resolves when the growth plate has closed or during periods of less activity. It occurs in both males and females. There are a number of locations in the body that may get apophysitis pain. Another common location is at the front of the knee which is known as apophysitis of the tibial tuberosity or Osgood Schlatter's disease. Children with calcaneal apophysitis commonly complain of pain at the back of the heel. This pain increases with jumping and some running sports. Sometimes, the pain makes children limp and may result in poor sports performance or them not wanting to participate in some sports. The back of the heel is never swollen or red, unless there has been shoe rubbing. When the back of the heel is squeezed from the inside and outside, children with calcaneal apophysitis will report pain. Foot radiographs are not needed to diagnose calcaneal apophysitis as the growth plate can look similar with or without pain. Health professionals should only refer for imaging when the symptoms don't match with the usual presentation or there has been an injury that has resulted in heel pain. Therefore, the diagnosis of Sever's disease is primarily from history and physical assessment.[2]
There are no known causes of calcaneal apophysitis or any ways that it can be prevented. Instead there are things that may contribute to calcaneal apophysitis developing. Children who complain of this type of heel pain commonly are taller (may have just had a growth spurt) or heavier. They also often play sports that have higher jumping, running or direction changes like basketball or soccer. It can also occur more in children who play on hard surfaces. Sometimes children who also start a new sport also complain on this pain or it may happen at the start of a new season. Because calcaneal apophysitis also occurs around puberty, it is thought that it is related to rapid growth and perhaps muscle tightness,[3][4] but this is not the case for all children.[5] There have been reports that is may also be associated with foot posture (high arches or flat feet). But in large studies, children with calcaneal apophysitis had similar foot postures to children without pain. This means, while some children have high arches or flat feet, not all will get calcaneal apophysitis.
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