Heel Pain in Children

This condition is not really a disease like the name implys. Growing children and adolescents that are participating in sports like soccer, basketball, and gymnastics, can develop inflammation of the growth plate on the heel (calcaneal apophysis). This is also called calcaneal apophysitis. A common diagnosis of plantar fasciitis in adults is rare in children. 

Diagnosis

Initially X-rays will be recommended to rule out more serious conditions such as a stress fracture, infection, and less commonly a bone tumor.

Treatment

The good news is that when the growth plate closes this condition resolves and surgery is never needed. These following treatments are effective ways to reduce symptoms until growth plate closure:

  • Cast immobilization
  • Over the counter arch supports or heel cups
  • Custom Orthotics
  • Use of stiffer more supportive shoes
  • Avoid barefoot walking
  • Perform calf stretching 2-3 times per day (see exercise section on web site)
  • Ice the heel at end of the day or after sports for 15 minutes
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Use of night splint
  • Serial taping
  • Physical therapy referral
  • Rest from sports when needed

We are your Seattle area Ankle Specialists; we treat the full spectrum of ankle & foot conditions simple to complex.  Whether you are in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Bothell, Arlington, Mount Vernon, or Whidbey Island call us today to make an appointment and we can educate you on your condition and better yet find solutions!

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