Heel pain in children between the ages of 6 and 13 years of age is a common problem seen mostly in athletic kids. The most common cause of heel pain in children in this age group is calcaneal apophysitis or sever’s disease. In office x-rays are taken to rule out other causes of heel pain and to confirm the diagnosis. This type of heel pain is usually aggravated with activity and relieved with rest. Pain with medical to lateral compression of the posterior calcaneus is a typical finding on examination.
Often these patients come in the office walking with a limp. Flat feet and a tight heel card contribute to the problem. Treatment is aimed at reducing the foots pronation with arch supports, taping, and most effectively custom made orthotics. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (Advil, Aleve) and stretching and ice are often helpful. In severe cases a cam walker may be utilized to rest the foot. The disease is self-limiting and will resolve when the patient’s growth plate fuses usually at ages 13-14.