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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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Posts for tag: Sever's Disease

School’s out and most children are all too happy to trade back packs and homework for days by the pool or beach and other summertime fun. At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, we want to caution parents about foot problems that we see a particular increase in during summer months in children and how to prevent them. 

Injuries—being footloose in the summer can increase the risk of injury. Many children love to run barefoot but this means a greater chance of puncture wounds and cuts from sharp items that may be hidden in the grass or sand. Even lake bottoms can contain jagged rocks and glass and for this reason water shoes are recommended. Another cause of injuries and foot pain is the overuse of flip flops. Although fine at the pool, flip flops provide no arch support and also do not cushion your heels. Children from the ages of 8 all the way up to their mid-teens are still growing new bone in the heel and repetitive pounding without protection can inflame the growth plate and lead to a condition known as Sever’s Disease. Due to the flimsy design of flip flops, tripping and toe scraping are other frequent occurrences.

Fungal Infections—going barefoot also puts your child at risk for fungal infections and warts. Summertime is prime time for the viruses, fungi and bacteria that lead to athlete’s foot and fungal toenails. Warm, moist, dark places are where these culprits thrive. These types of conditions are spread by direct contact so be sure to make sure your kids do use flip flops or water shoes at the pool, in changing areas, gyms, dance studios and any place else where people are likely to walk barefoot. Make sure children change their socks daily and air out shoes and sneakers between wearings.

Sunburn—don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your children’s feet just as often as you do to the rest of their bodies. Not only is sunburn painful, it can lead to melanoma and other skin cancers later in life.

Ingrown Toenails—we usually think of new shoes and sneakers for going back to school but be sure to monitor your child’s foot size over the summer. Toes that are jammed into shoes that are too small and squeezed together for extended periods of time have a greater tendency to become ingrown.

Of course, if despite your best efforts to protect your child’s feet an injury or foot condition develops, our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, is ready to help. Contact our Washington office for a convenient appointment by calling: and we’ll have your child back to summer fun in no time!

 
By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
October 27, 2015
Tags: Heel pain   Sever's Disease  

Heel pain in children ages 8 to 14 is most often the result of Sever’s Disease. Also known as Calcaneal apophysitis, this condition is an inflammation of the growth plate in the heel. The heel does not finish developing until a child is about 14. A weak spot at the back of the heel can become irritated by excessive repetitive activities that pound the heel such as soccer, basketball, and football. Although overuse is the biggest cause of Sever’s Disease, biomechanical issues with the foot such as having high arches or flat feet, obesity, and a tight Achilles tendon can also be aggravating factors. In addition to heel pain, you may notice your child limping, walking on tip toes, and avoiding physical activity.

Diagnosis and Treatment

At Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, our board certified podiatrist will conduct a thorough examination of your child’s heels and feet and will want to know about his or her recent activities. Sever’s Disease can occur in one or both feet. Dr. Pinsker may order x-rays or other imaging tests to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment options include:

  • Activity Modification: Any repetitive activity that puts stress on the heel needs to be stopped or greatly reduced.
  • Immobilization: If the heel pain is severe, a cast may be needed to give the inflammation a chance to go down for healing to occur
  • Physical Therapy: Stretching exercises and other physical therapy activities can help both heal and strengthen
  • Orthotics: Shoe inserts, padding, or other orthotic devices can relieve pressure and give support to the heel

Prevention

You can help prevent Sever’s Disease by making sure your child has well-constructed and supportive shoes for the sports and physical activities that he or she participates in. Also, avoid or limit cleats—these have been shown to be a contributing factor to this condition. Making sure your child maintains a healthy weight will also help in the prevention of Sever’s Disease (and many other medical conditions).

If you suspect that your child may be suffering from Sever’s Disease or if there are other concerns with his or her feet and ankles, make an appointment at our Washington office. Proper care is essential to ensure healthy growth and development of your child’s feet.

Help your child deal with heel pain from Sever's Disease between visits. If you are a parent, are you often on the lookout for ways to be the best you can be for your family? Learn from the experts and glean important information at the Parenting Expo coming to Pittsburgh, PA, March 8-9, 2014. This two-day event will help you get up-to-date information and education from speakers and exhibitors. Anytime your child has foot pain, such as from Sever’s disease, Dr. Philip Pinsker is available to offer information and help as well.

Sever’s disease is quite common among children, especially those who are regularly involved in sports. It is a heel injury that develops as a result of inflammation to the growth plate in the heel. Sometimes the heel bone grows faster than the surrounding muscles and tendons, which makes them tight and overstretched. Stress from physical activity can then bring discomfort and pain in the heel area.

We always suggest that parents have their child’s foot pain diagnosed and treated at the start of symptoms. If you have to wait for an appointment, we can offer a few ways to help alleviate your child’s symptoms until Dr. Philip Pinskercan see him or her. The first step is to make them rest, which isn’t always easy when they are always on the go. Rest starts the healing process, and they should avoid any form of physical activity that would further aggravate the injury. It may help to elevate the affected foot and apply ice for twenty minutes, two to three times a day. An over-the-counter pain medication suitable for children may ease their discomfort, but a medical professional should always first approve this. 

If your child complains of heel pain or has difficulty walking, contact Dr. Philip Pinsker and we will make every effort to see your child as soon as possible. Take their symptoms seriously, as ignoring symptoms may only lead to an injury becoming worse. Call our office in Washington, PA today at (724) 225-7410 to make an appointment