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Sever’s Disease and the Heel’s Growth Plate

Heel pain in children may be a sign of Sever’s disease, which is a foot condition that affects physically active young children and teenagers. While it can cause severe pain and discomfort and is considered to be the most common cause of heel pain in children, it generally does not cause long-term damage. Sever’s disease is defined as an inflamed growth plate in the heel. This can happen from excessive force or overuse, resulting in heel pain. This plate is necessary for shaping the heel bone, in addition to producing tissue for proper growth. Some types of activities that can contribute to developing Sever’s disease include running, jumping, or standing for extended periods of time. It can affect basketball or soccer players, and gymnasts may also feel the effects of Sever’s disease. Common symptoms that are associated with Sever’s disease can consist of a swollen and reddened heel, and it can be difficult to walk. Mild relief may happen when the offending activity is temporarily stopped and the foot is frequently elevated. If your child has heel pain, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can effectively 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 our podiatrist from Dr. Powers Foot and Ankle. 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 Bloomington, Bedford, and Washington, IN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

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