As described in Part 1 of this blog, Sever’s disease(Calcaneal apophysitis) occurs when there is a disturbance of the growth plate which is caused excessive pulling from the Achilles tendon. This usually occurs in active growing children. Many parents ask “Will my child ever be able to play sports pain free again?” The simple is – Yes!
Sever’s disease is what is referred to as a self-limiting condition – that means it will eventually go away on its own BUT this can take several years and can be very painful for the child. Even though it will go away on its own in many cases, it is critical to seek medical treatment to reduce the chance of developing chronic pain.
The first step in the management of this condition should be focused on eliminating the pain that is affecting the child’s activities. This includes modifying or changing the activity, icing, and stretching of the tight calf muscle group. A topical pain relieving gel such as Biofreeze may be used to control the pain.
This may be followed by temporary heel lifts in the shoes, anti- inflammatory medications, over- the-counter shoe inserts and in cases where there is a severe weakness in the feet, custom foot orthotics would be prescribed. Orthotics are essential to prevent long term problems. In rare cases, a walker-boot or non-weight bearing cast may be required.
If your child is having pain in his feet, is walking with a limp, or not participating in sports like normal, it may be time to come see me. Together we can develop a treatment plan that will have your child healed and back to activities as quickly as possible.