Is your child complaining of sore heels after during or after activity? Have you noticed your child walking with a limp? It might be calcaneal apophysitis. This condition has previously gone by the name sever’s which you may have heard before. This condition is very prevalent in both males and females with it commonly occurring between the ages of 8-15.
The calcaneal apophysis is a growth plate in the back of the heel bone which can become inflamed and very sensitive. This condition frequently occurs after a child has undergone a growth spurt where the bones grow at a faster rate than the muscles and tendons in the leg. This difference in length can cause the achilles tendon which inserts into the back of the heel to pull on the apophysis (growth plate). This pulling mechanism places extra stress on the heel bone which has not fully developed and closed leading to inflammation and symptoms of pain. Activities and sports which include running and jumping typically exacerbate symptoms however this condition can still occur to children who aren’t as active.
Our podiatrists are experts at diagnosing and assessing heel pain. There are many different causes of plantar heel pain which will need to be considered before confirming a diagnosis of calcaneal apophysitis. We are able to determine whether any biomechanical factors may be contributing to your child’s symptoms and develop a management plan accordingly.
Some treatment strategies our podiatrists may look to implement could include:
- A stretching and strengthening program targeting the calf muscles.
- Footwear assessment and recommendations.
- Adding heel lifts into shoes.
- Activity modification
- Symptom management strategies
- Flexible shoe inserts where necessary to further offload the heel
So if your child is complaining about sore heels, book an appointment with one of our friendly and knowledgeable podiatrists so we can keep your child happy and doing the things they love!