Podiatric heel pain is a common complaint many children experience. However, it is a symptom, indicative of a greater underlying issue. Symptoms your child may experience when complaining of heel pain include:
- Pain in the back of the heel, or bottom of the heel
- Walking on their toes
- Difficulty participating in sports or their usual activities
Causes of Pediatric Heel Pain
Because there are many possible causes for pediatric heel pain, few similar and often more persistent than those of adults, a podiatrist is best equipped to determine the cause of the pain. Conditions that cause this pain include:
- Calcaneal apophystitis (ah-poff-is-tie-tis) AKA Sever's disease: the most common cause of heel pain in children, calcaneal apophystitis is an inflammation of the heel's growth plate due to muscle pain and repetitive stress.
- Tendo-Achilles bursitis: An inflammation of the bursa (a fluid-filled sac) between the Achilles tendon and the heel bone.
- Overuse syndromes
In order to diagnose the cause of your child's heel pain, your doctor will go through their medical history extensively, and ask questions regarding their recent activity. They will also examine your child's foot and leg, usually ordering x-rays, and in some cases bones scans, MRI, or CT scan. Lab testing may also be ordered to aid in the diagnosis.