Sever’s Disease – Calcaneal Apophysitis

Calcaneal apophysitis emerges through the rapid developmental period when skeletal development outgrows the length of the muscles/tendon. The insertion of the Achilles tendons at that point pulls on the calcaneal growth plate where the apophysis of the heel may be still open, thus causing increased pain and inflammation in that region. This consolidated with high amounts of activity and mechanical overuse can bring on additional aggravation.

What is Sever’s Disease?

Sever’s Disease, also called calcaneal apophysitis is an inflammation in the heel’s growth plate mostly among adolescents. This condition is caused by repeated application of pressure on the heel, which leads to pain. Frequent use of this part suggests that the condition is most dominant among active children.

This condition often resolves without medical intervention when the heel is allowed to rest for some time. It is more prevalent in boys than girls.

Signs of Sever’s Disease or Calcaneal Apophysitis

  • Feeling of pain on the heel when engaging in physical activities like running and walking.
  • The presence of a lump, though this may not be common.
  • Pain when one applies pressure behind the heel.
  • Increased pain after exercising or walking.
  • Reduction in the range of ankle movement because the gastrosoleus muscles become tight.

Causes of Sever’s Disease or Calcaneal Apophysitis

Calcaneal apophysitis results from the overuse of the bones and tendons at the heel. Repetitive ankle movement, especially among sports people, significantly contributes to this condition. Among young children, bearing excess weight may cause excess traction since the bones and tendons are still soft and growing. Children who experience overpronation are more likely to suffer from calcaneal apophysitis.

Treatment of Sever’s Disease or Calcaneal Apophysitis

  • Wrapping ice in a clean towel and pressing it against the skin. Avoid direct contact between ice and the skin.
  • Resting and avoiding aggravating activities.
  • Inserting a heel raise in the shoe to help relieve some stress from the Achilles tendon and reduce the tug that is on the bone.
  • Stretch the calf muscles regularly.
  • Casting can help to relieve pain.
  • See a podiatrist to carry out a full assessment.
  • Use insoles or orthotics.
  • Use anti-inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen to relieve pain.
  • Keep the heel at an elevated position.
  • Podiatrists don’t advocate for steroid injections or surgeries.

Prevention of Sever’s Disease or Calcaneal Apophysitis

  • Avoid excessive running mostly on hard and uneven surfaces.
  • Maintain your foot’s flexibility through regular exercise.
  • Wear soft, shock-absorbing, and well-fitting shoes to provide stable support for your feet.
  • Contact us on 03 9077 5915 for further assessment and treatment.