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McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group
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Assessing Your Child’s Odds of Sever’s Disease

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A key component of insurance is being able to identify the risk of an event happening and provide protection for it if it does. Insurance companies use a variety of factors to establish the likelihood of events and then base their rates off of them. For auto insurance, these factors include age, gender, location, and driving record. There are also risk factors when it comes to foot and ankle health. With child heel pain, there are certain factors that make Sever’s disease more likely.

Sever’s disease (calcaneal apophysis) is a common source of heel pain in children. The condition (not actually a “disease”) develops because of variances in the growth processes between the heel bone (calcaneus) and the muscles, ligaments and tendons that support it. Since the calcaneus reaches physical maturity and size before the soft tissues, it creates tension on them and can lead to pain in the area.

One of the contributing risk factors of Sever’s is the level of physical activity. Adolescent athletes are more likely to exhibit symptoms simply because their feet receive greater usage than those of sedentary children.

In addition to activity, the odds of Sever’s disease occurring in a child is greatest when boys are between the ages of 10-15 and girls are between 8-13 years old. This is due to the nature of physical development in the respective genders.

Physical characteristics that increase the likelihood of this source of child heel pain include arches that are either too low or too high and cases where one leg is shorter than the other. These factors can all cause tightness in the Achilles tendon and increase the pull on the heel bone.

Weight plays a role as well. Kids who are overweight or obese place additional pressure on the growth plate and are more likely to experience painful symptoms.

The good news about Sever’s disease is that it will typically resolve itself once all parts of the foot have reached physical maturity, and there are no long-term ailments associated with the condition. That said, your child may require treatment to relieve symptoms. If this is the case for your son or daughter, simply schedule an appointment with McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group and we will create a plan to care for your child’s heel pain. Call our Carmichael, CA office today at (961) 916-3434 or use our online form to contact us today.

Dr. Brian McDowell
Dr. Brian McDowell, board-certified podiatrist, provides cutting-edge foot and ankle care in Carmichael, CA.
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