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A to Z: Kohler's Disease

May also be called: Kohler Disease; Kohler's Bone Disease

Kohler's disease is a rare cause of foot pain that develops from temporary changes in bones in the feet as children grow.

More to Know

Kohler's disease is most common in boys between 2 and 10 years old, but also can occur in girls. Usually, it affects just one foot. With proper treatment, the bone almost always heals completely.

Doctors do not know the exact cause of Kohler's disease, but in some kids, activities like walking, running, and jumping cause a developing bone between the ankle and the heel (the navicular bone) to lose some of its blood supply and become flattened. These changes cause pain, swelling, and tenderness on the inside of the foot and sometimes a limp.

Keep in Mind

Kohler's disease is diagnosed through a physical examination of the foot. Sometimes an X-ray is done to make sure nothing else is causing the pain. A cast helps to rest the bone so it can heal and relieve pain. If your child is over 9 years old, crutches may be recommended.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

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