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Case Studies

Severs Disease


Practitioner:  Rebecca Wilson, Podiatrist

Practice:  Complete Podiatry, Christchurch, NZ


  • Severs disease is by far the most common cause of heel pain in young children, especially those who play field sports or basketball.
  • Description: It is a traction apophysitis in which inflammation of the calcaneal apophysis (growth plate) occurs as a result of overuse or micro trauma. The Achilles tendon pulls too much at its insertion at the back of the heel causing Inflammation of the calcaneal apophysis. When growth is almost complete, around the age of 14, this growth plate fuses into bone.
  • Causes: severs disease is caused by micro trauma and over use - this can include excessive foot pronation/rolling in, tight calf muscles, increase in sporting activities and inappropriate footwear. These all put extra sheering foces on the growth plate leading to aggrevation and resultant pain.
  • Signs and symptoms of this include pain on squeezing of the heel, absence of swelling and redness, child describing pain as a dull ache, limping and pain with increased activity.
  • Treatment: Formthotics can help with severs by correcting the over pronated foot position. Formthotics can be further modified by a podiatrist through heat moulding and by adding other additions to the bottom of the insert. R.I.C.E, strapping, heel lifts, footwear, modify F.D.I of sports, stretching and nsaids (pain medication) can also help.



Severs Xray

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