Tuesday, 31 October 2023 00:00

A Common Adolescent Foot Condition

Sever's disease, despite its name, is not a true disease, but rather a common pediatric foot condition. It primarily affects active children and adolescents, typically between the ages of 8 to 14, who are engaged in physical activities or sports. This condition is characterized by pain and discomfort in the heel, particularly the growth plate at the back of the heel bone, where the Achilles tendon attaches. Sever's disease, or calcaneal apophysitis, occurs as a result of the growth plate being pulled on by the Achilles tendon. The growth plate is still developing during adolescence and is vulnerable to injury. Repetitive stress from activities such as running, jumping, or sudden growth spurts can lead to inflammation, causing heel pain. The discomfort tends to worsen with physical activity and can be particularly bothersome during and after exercise. Understanding Sever's disease is vital for parents, coaches, and young athletes. While it is usually a self-limiting condition, meaning it resolves as the growth plate closes, it can be painful and disruptive to a child's daily life. Early recognition and appropriate care are important to ensure a smoother path to recovery for adolescents affected by Sever's disease. If your active child has heel pain, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can accurately 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 one of our podiatrists from The Foot Institute. Our doctors 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 Westside, Northeast, Eastside, and Northwest, El Paso, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

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