Calcaneal apopysitis or pediatric heel pain is a common condition where the growth plate of the heel is inflamed and becomes very painful. It was previously called “Sever’s Disease” but it is not a true disease at all.
Growing pains are a normal and sometimes unavoidable consequence of our bodies getting bigger. However, with the heel bone, it is frequently made worse by poor shoe gear, abnormal biomechanics (body movements), foot deformities, tight achilles tendon, overuse, or prior injuries.
Signs of Pediatric Heel Pain
Children usually tolerate a lot of pain when they are happily playing, but a child affected by this will frequently limp, toe walk, or even stop playing because of the pain. This is a treatable condition and with care, can resolve relatively quickly.
Other conditions may occur or play a role on top of the calcaneal apopysitis. Your foot and ankle surgeon can evaluate and diagnose these in the office and in rare cases can order advanced imaging studies or lab work. X-rays in the office and a thorough medical history will aid in ruling out more serious conditions. Achilles tendonitis, flatfoot or other conditions may also exist or even mimic the heel pain.
Treatment for Pediatric Heel Pain
Treatments often include rest, ice, stretching, PT, immobilization, and medications. The benefits of appropriate children's orthotics are also very important. An orthotic is an arch support or device that can help alleviate pain and can even be customized to each child if needed. A variety of over the counter products may also be recommended specifically for each activity or condition to help the child’s pain. With patience and parental support, the child can be back on their feet to a healthy lifestyle.