What I'd like to talk to you about today is a condition called Sever's disease. That's S-E-V-E-R apostrophe S. Sever's disease is a condition in which pain is very pronounced along the back of the heel bone, the calcaneus. It generally is present in children, and can start as early as age six, and can continue through adolescence.

What Causes Sever's Disease?

So what causes pain in the back of the heel in a young child? Well, it's the fall, and we're back to soccer. The children may not have been that active during the summer, but they certainly are growing. And what we think happens is that the child's bony growth is faster than the growth of their muscles, particularly their calf muscle, and its insertion, the Achilles tendon.

The Achilles tendon inserts right in the back of that heel, and along the bone in this area is a growth plate, the active growing area of the bone. So what happens if the bone grows faster than the muscle? All of a sudden you end up with a really, really tight calf muscle. The children are active in soccer shoes, which are flat, unlike their athletic shoes they might be wearing during the summer, which have some heel lift. And that leads to over-pulling of that Achilles tendon on the back of the heel. That leads to inflammation that can be quite intense, and cause the child to limp.

So if your child complains of pain that's persistent along the back of the heel bone, bring them in and let us evaluate this condition, and provide you with some easy steps to alleviate this condition, Sever's disease.

To learn more about how we treat Sever's Disease visit: 


Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.