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Understanding Sever’s Disease

Pediatric calcaneal apophysitis, commonly known as Sever's disease, is a condition affecting the growth plate in the heel of children, typically between the ages of eight and 14. As children engage in physical activities and sports, the Achilles tendon exerts repetitive tension on the heel's growth plate, causing inflammation and pain. This condition is more prevalent during periods of rapid growth when the bone is susceptible to mechanical stress. Recognizing pediatric calcaneal apophysitis is vital as it causes heel pain, tenderness, and swelling, particularly after physical activities. Rest and reduced activity levels are primary components of managing Sever's disease, allowing the inflamed growth plate to heal. Wearing supportive footwear with adequate cushioning and heel cups can alleviate symptoms, while stretching exercises may help improve flexibility and reduce tension on the Achilles tendon. If your active child has heel pain, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can provide an accurate diagnosis and a tailored treatment plan.  

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Anas Khoury, DPM from North Eastern Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctor 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 Passaic, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

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