Heel Pain Among Kids?

Heel pain among kids

There are many conditions which are seen in growing kids and often left aside as growing pains. One of these conditions is called Severs disease or Calcaneal Apophysitis, which results in heel pain. The name might sound frightening but it is an injury to the growth plate of the heel and not a disease. This is commonly seen in active kids involved in exercises or sports on regular basis. The average age when kids hit growth spurt is anytime between the age of 10 and 15 for boys and 8 and 13 for girls.

Growth plate is found at the end of growing bones which later turns into bone cells. During growth spurt, the bone grows faster than the muscle and tendons, which makes the muscles relatively tight and overstretched.  At heel, the Achilles tendon is attached to the growth plate of the heel bone. As the growth spurt hits, it increases traction forces on the growth plate. These increased traction forces in addition to the impact from physical activity, cause inflammation of the heel (calcaneal) growth plate. Similar growth plate injury occurring at the patella (kneecap) is known as Sinding Larsen Johansson Syndrome.

Pain is the most prominent symptom in severs disease. Swelling and redness might be seen in some cases. Other symptoms could be difficulty in walking and increase in pain from impact activities like running and jumping. Kids suffering from severs disease are often seen walking tip toe or limping.

Knee pain in adolescents – Is it because of SLJ Syndrome?


Sinding Larsen Johansson Syndrome

Sinding Larsen Johansson Syndrome is a condition causing knee pain in early adolescent (10-15years) age group. It is often seen in active individuals involved in high impact sporting activities which involve repetitive jumping or running. Basketball, volleyball and track and field are common examples but it can also be seen in sports like squash, tennis, gymnastics and soccer.

Excessive and repetitive stress on knee leads to irritation and inflammation of the growth plate of the patella (knee cap).  The growth plate which is present at the inferior pole of the patella is attached to the patella tendon. The other end of the patella tendon is attached to the shin bone. Increase in traction forces of the patellar tendon on the growth plate leads to its inflammation. Symptoms include pain, swelling and tenderness at the bottom of the knee cap (patella). Pain increases with activities like running, jumping, kneeling, squatting and even climbing up and down the stairs.

Read contributing factors and treatment on Page 2