What is Apophysitis?
Apophysitis is inflammation of the growth plate of the heel bone. It is most common in children ages 8-13, particularly those who are active in sports.
What are the Symptoms?
Pain is usually limited to the heel. The child will usually limp during and especially after playing sports. Pain usually develops over time. Pain may be to the back of the heel, sides of the heel, or with squeezing the heel.
How is it caused?
Calcaneal Apophysitis is an overuse injury. Overuse injuries occur because a body part (in this case, the heel) is subject to more physical stress than it can recover from between games or practices. Inflammation and injury slowly builds until it becomes symptomatic. Soccer, Basketball and Track are the sports most commonly associated with Apophysitis.
Common predisposing factors for Calcaneal Apophysitis include:
- Flat foot
- High-arched foot
- Tight Achilles tendon and calf muscles
How is it treated?
Treatments often include:
- Rest from the Sport or activity
- Ice massage
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Orthotic arch support insoles
- Severe cases may require immobilization in an orthopedic boot or cast.
How can I prevent it?
The best way to prevent a recurrence is to control the child's foot mechanics with proper footwear, including orthotic insoles if the child has either a high-arched foot or flat foot. Allowing sufficient rest between Sports practices, games, and seasons also helps to prevent recurrence.
If your child has heel pain, don't wait for it to go away on its own. Bring your child to a Podiatrist. In Mesa, Arizona schedule an appointment with Dr. Clement.