Severs Disease Question...

Question:


I have a 12 year old son who 2 years ago tore his achilles when he fell off his bike. His heel has never been the same since but 8 weeks ago when playing football he tackled a player and his heel was so painful he could not walk on it at all. The following day we went to the hospital and had an x-ray which showed sclerosis. After a week on crutches he was then put in a cast for 6 weeks as the doctor thinks it is severs. The cast was removed but as he was in pain still he is now wearing a boot but still can not put any weight on the heel pad at all. It has now been 8 weeks and has been on painkillers all this time. Does this sound like severs?

Answer:

The short answer is, generally, No, however, Sever's is still a possible cause among other complaints. Please let me clarify this...

Sever's Disease can be very debilitating for young active children. Normally, Sever's disease will settle down very quickly with rest. You cannot provide a better way to rest the heel than with a plaster cast. Knowing this has been performed and the pain still persists would concern me enough to warrant further investigation.

Severs disease is also generally gradual in its onset. You mentioned your son started having real problems after tackling a player. This suggests to me that there may be some other injury present, possibly in conjuction with Sever's disease. This may inclde damage to the achilles tendon, especially if your son is still unable to get the heel to the ground. See your Doctor and request further investigations/scans be performed to find out what other problems are present.

In summary, I find prescription orthotics, heel pads, appropriate footwear and correct exercises alleviate the pain of Sever's disease normally within two to four weeks in 90% of cases. The other 10% of cases may require two to four weeks rest from their chosen sport. In my 20 years of practice I have never needed to use a cast to settle down Sever's disease alone. This is why I believe something else is contributing to your son's continued pain. See your Doctor or Podiatrist for further investigation.

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Jun 19, 2017
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My son has casts for Sever's Disease
by: Gavin

If casting is needed, orthotics and well cushioned footwear should be considered following the casting to reduce the trauma on the heel bone growth plates.

Apr 03, 2017
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My son has casts for Sever's Disease
by: Erin

My son has been suffering from Severs disease in both feet since August. The severity of the pain was off and on from August to December. Sometimes he was unable to walk. In January, his pain level increased and his ortho put him in boots. He was wearing the boots for 3 months with no improvement. He seemed to get worse. He tried PT for 3 weeks but it hurt more after the PT. The doctor casted him on Friday in both feet and he will be in the casts for 3 weeks. I've heard from her and others that this should help with the intense pain. I am concerned what to do next if this does not resolve it. His MRI came back normal, all blood work normal. What is the next step if the pain is not decreased. Any ideas?

Dec 20, 2014
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Effective treatment of heel pain
by: Gavin

Prescription orthotics with sufficient arch correction are essential to alleviate pressure on the heel bone. If you exclude this aspect of treatment, you will be wasting your time by simply casting the feet alone.

Good orthotics eliminate the need for casting 99% of the time with Sever's disease.

See a "good" Podiatrist.

Jul 22, 2014
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Severs
by: Anonymous

My 8 yr old son first developed severs 16 weeks ago . We first saw our gp and then a podiatrist . He has heel lifts in his shoes , we have done the taping and icing and limiting activity . He came home from school yesterday and could barely walk . What else can we do ? It's getting worse , not better !

Feb 05, 2014
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Is this Sever's?
by: Anonymous

My 11 yr old son began complaining of severe heel pain after the second basketball practice of the season, but he had also been sick with viral symptoms for a week before the onset. With rest and ibuprofen, he improved and within 15 days or so he could walk without pain. He again returned to basketball practice and left in severe pain. His viral symptoms reappeared (fever, headache, fatigue). All blood work came back normal, yet he was prescribed antibiotic at my insistence and took it over the next 10 days. Ortho dr. saw him and said heel pain was Sever's and put him in cast, and pain subsided in heel. Other viral symptoms gradually have gone away too, although still some fatigue. Cast was removed and now he still cannot put foot down and walk without pain. Child was very athletic before this happened.

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