Sever’s Disease

ValleyOrtho’s physicians treat a wide range of common foot and ankle conditions, including calcaneal apophysitis, also known as Sever’s disease.


Patients with Sever’s Disease may have activity-related pain in the back part of the heel. Sever’s disease is the most common cause of heel pain in children between the ages of 9 to 13. This occurs due to inflammation of the growth plate in the heel, believed to be caused by repetitive irritation from the pull of the Achilles tendon on the growth plate. Many patients report pain in both heels.


  • Sports with running and jumping
  • Poor footwear
  • Tight lower leg muscles, primarily the Achilles tendon and the calf
  • Large growth spurts


  • Heel pain on one or both sides
  • Heel pain with running, jumping and other sport-related activities
  • Limping
  • Pain when the heel is squeezed


Our specialists at ValleyOrtho will skillfully diagnose and treat Sever’s Disease to safely return these young athletes to their sport. Most often, X-rays will be taken in order to rule out other causes of pain.


This condition is usually treated conservatively. A referral to physical therapy for specific stretches, strengthening exercises and balance activities will be recommended. Activity modifications, anti-inflammatory medications, arch supports and/or orthotics may also be of benefit. Some athletes’ calves are so tight that heel lifts may be indicated. The young athlete should be able to return to normal activities as the pain decreases.

The care team at ValleyOrtho is committed to delivering the best in patient-centered care for the young athletes in the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond.