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Symptoms and Causes of Sever’s Disease

Sever's disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis, is a heel condition affecting children and adolescents during periods of rapid growth. It occurs when the growth plate at the back of the heel bone becomes inflamed due to repetitive stress or tension from activities like running, jumping, or participating in sports. This condition is not a true disease, but is a temporary condition that typically resolves once the growth plate matures and fuses with the rest of the bone. Symptoms of Sever's disease include heel pain, especially during or after physical activity, limping, and discomfort when pressing on the heel. Factors contributing to its development include overuse or excessive strain on the heel bone, tight calf muscles or Achilles tendon, improper footwear, and biomechanical issues, such as flat feet or high arches. It is suggested that any active child that has heel pain be taken to a podiatrist who can expertly 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 Crystal Lake Foot & Ankle Center. 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 our office located in Crystal Lake, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

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