Dr Brandon Nelson, A Board-Certified Foot & Ankle Surgeon, Discusses the Most Common Causes of Heel Pain in Children

Dr Brandon Nelson, A Board-Certified Foot & Ankle Surgeon, Discusses the Most Common Causes of Heel Pain in Children

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Heel pain
can be common in children especially as they return to sports. We typically see girls between the ages of 8-12 and boys around 10-14. This increased incidence of heel pain at this time can be correlated with growth spurts or changes in activities. There is often a family history of heel pain as well from a parent or siblings. Unlike adults, very few children will have plantar fasciitis as the cause of heel pain. So, what are the main causes of heel pain in children? I will discuss a couple below.

Coalitions, these are where you have an abnormal connection between bones in the feet that should not be connected. Often, we see this type of pathology becoming painful after an injury, like an ankle sprain. Usually, an x-ray in needed to diagnosis this. This can differ based on location and there are two general locations of the coalitions. The two main locations are a calcaneal navicular and a talar calcaneal as the most common. The types of coalitions can vary, from bone to cartilage and even soft tissue.

Another common cause of heel pain in kids is Sever’s disease. This is basically an irritation of a growth plate that was first described by Dr Sever. This is especially common in cleated sports like soccer or football. There is usually a family history and common in flatfeet and kids with tight calf muscles. While this list is not exhaustive of all types of heel pain it is two of the most common, others can include a bone tumor, stress fracture or even a nerve irritation. Please make an appointment online or give us a call at 425-391-8666 if your child is having heel pain so we can help.

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