By Dr. Arden Smith, Fellow American College of Foot and Ankle Surgery, Fellow American College of Foot and Ankle Orthopedics and Medicine
One of the most common soccer injuries we, at Advanced Podiatry, have seen is a large number of young soccer players complaining of heel pain. This problem is often caused by a condition known as apophysitis of the calcaneus or Severs Disease. This condition consists of an inflammation of the growth area of the heel bone which has not completely matured, or closed altogether, and has developed in two parts. It is most commonly seen in boys and girls between the ages of 10 to 15. The pain is usually present in the back of the heel and is more pronounced in running and jumping sports.
The treatment consists of x-ray evaluation to make a proper diagnosis and to rule out any bone fractures. A custom orthotic insert is often needed to correct the biomechanical and balances which may be causing a jamming effect on the heel plate; additionally the elimination of any cleated shoes with less than four cleats in the heel area. Often a Tuli's Heel Cup is used to assist with shock absorption minimizing the direct trauma to the heel.. In summary, watch for any warning signals; when a child complains of heel pain, there is usually a need for an examination.
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