Calcaneal Apophysitis - Heel Pain in Young Athlete's

Calcaneal apophysitis or Sever’s Disease is a painful bone condition due to inflammation of the growth plate in the calcaneaus (heel). It is caused by repetitive micro-trauma due to the achilles’ tendon on the heel growth plate. The pain is activity related and can commonly affect both heels.  It is the most common cause of heel pain in growing kids, particularly athlete’s. The common age range is 8 to 13 for girls and 10 to 15 for boys. Heel pain from Sever’s Disease rarely occurs after the age of 15 because the growth plate in the heel fuses and hardens.


Signs and Symptoms


- Heel pain with running, jumping, and other high impact activity

- Pain to one or both heels

- Pain with side to side squeeze of the heel

- Limping




- Tight achilles’ tendon, calf, hamstrings

- Poor shoe gear

- Sporting activity with running, jumping, and other high impact activity




- Rest and reduction of high impact activity as needed based on pain

- Icing of the heel after activity

- Stretching of the achilles’ tendon, calf, hamstrings

- Anti-inflammatory medication as needed for pain

- Heel lift

- Orthotics, arch supports, new shoes

- K-laser treatment

- Ankle brace or boot


If your child has heel pain due to calcaneal apophysitis (sever’s disease), contact the foot and ankle specialists at Advanced Foot and Ankle Center for an appointment. Your foot and ankle specialist will evaluate your child’s heel pain, the specific cause of the heel pain, and administer treatment in order to get your child back into playing the sports and activities they enjoy. Your specialist will evaluate and manage your child’s specific foot and ankle needs for prevention and optimization. Call to make your appointment today!