Sever's Disease

You have Sever's disease. This is an inflammation (soreness) of the area where your achilles (heel) tendon (cord like structure) attaches to your calcaneus (heel bone). This is a condition that is most common in young athletes. It is most often seen during times of growth spurts. This is because during these times the muscles and tendons are becoming tighter as the bones are becoming longer This puts more strain on areas of tendon attachment. Because of the inflammation, there is pain and tenderness in this area. In addition to growth spurts, it most often comes on with high level physical activities involving running and jumping.

This is a self limited condition. It generally gets well by itself in 6 to 12 months with conservative measures and moderation of physical activities. However, it can persist up to two years.

DIAGNOSIS

The diagnosis is often made by physical examination alone. However, x-rays are sometimes necessary to rule out other problems.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Apply ice packs to the areas of pain every 1-2 hours for 15 to 20 minutes while awake. Do this for 2 days or as directed.

  • Limit physical activities to levels that do not cause pain.

  • Do stretching exercises for the lower legs and especially the heel cord (achilles tendon).

  • Once the pain is gone begin gentle strengthening exercises for the calf muscles.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

  • A heel raise is sometimes inserted into the shoe. It should be used as directed.

  • Steroid injection or surgery is not indicated.

  • See your caregiver if you develop a temperature. Also, if you have an increase in the pain or problem that originally brought you in for care.

If x-rays were taken, recheck with the hospital or clinic after a radiologist (a specialist in reading x-rays) has read your x-rays. This is to make sure there is agreement with the initial readings. It also determines if further studies are necessary. Ask your caregiver how you are to obtain your radiology (x-ray) results. It is your responsibility to get the results of your x-rays.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand and follow these instructions.

  • Monitor your condition.

  • Get help right away if you are not doing well or getting worse.