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A to Z: Sever Disease

May also be called: Calcaneal Apophysitis

Sever disease, also called calcaneal apophysitis, is a painful bone disorder that results from inflammation (swelling) of the growth plate in the heel.

More to Know

A growth plate, also called an epiphyseal plate, is an area at the end of a developing bone where cartilage cells change over time into bone cells. As this occurs, the growth plates expand and unite, which is how bones grow.

Sever disease is a common cause of heel pain in growing kids, especially those who are physically active. It usually occurs during the growth spurt of adolescence, the approximately 2-year period in early puberty when kids grow most rapidly.

The chief sign of Sever disease is pain or tenderness in one or both heels, usually at the back. The pain also might extend to the sides and bottom of the heel, ending near the arch of the foot.

Keep in Mind

The immediate goal of treatment of Sever disease is pain relief. Because symptoms generally worsen with activity, the main treatment for Sever disease is rest, which helps to relieve pressure on the heel bone, decreasing swelling and reducing pain.

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

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