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Sever's Disease

more about Sever's Disease


Osteochondrosis of the calcaneus



  • Degenerative changes in a growth center of the heel bone
  • A painful heel, during the childhood years
  • The particular region that degenerates and causes the pain is a small, unusual, extra growth center in the back end of the heel bone.  Not everyone has this extra growth center, known as an apophysis.

  • Tenderness of the heel
  • Painful heel after exercise
  • Toe-walking, to minimize pressure on the heel

  • Physical stress leads to microscopic Fractures in the cartilage of this growth center.

  • A history of athletics that could repeatedly traumatize the heel, coupled with the above symptoms, suggest the diagnosis.
  • A dense, chalky X-ray appearance of the extra growth center in the back of the heel bone might suggest Sever's disease, but this may also be a normal X-ray finding.  The chalky appearance on the X-ray is not sufficient to make the diagnosis.

  • Athletic activities in children, especially ones that traumatize the heels (e.g., contact sports such as football, hockey, basketball).

  • Rest the affected heel by decreasing those physical activities that produce pounding of the heel.
  • A special boot or cast is sometimes used to reduce the physical forces that stress the growth centers of the heel.

  • Continued pain

  • Consult a physician

  • Any other cause of a painful foot or heel (for example, trauma)
  • Similarly, Osgood-Schlatter Disease involves pain below the knee due to degenerative change in the growth center in this region.  (Sever's disease involves pain in the back end of the heel bone.)




more about Sever's Disease


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