Heel Pain in Young Athletes

Young athletes have a lot on their plates. Between growing up, school, and their athletic activities they’re pretty busy by kid standards. With all of the constant activity, it’s no wonder that children’s athletic injuries aren’t always noticeable right away. They often get written off as growing pains or minor accidental injuries, but sometimes they’re much more than that. Let’s look at heel pain in young athletes.

Heel Pain in Young Athletes

The truth is that children are more susceptible to some athletic injuries because they’re still growing. For example, heel pain is more common in young athletes than you might realize because the growth plates that allow them to grow to their final adult size can easily become irritated by repetitive motions. When it comes to the growth plate in the heel, this pattern is called Sever’s Disease.

Children’s Heel Pain

Sever’s Disease isn’t the only cause of childhood heel pain. Your child is capable of injuring themselves in the same ways as any adult who participates in a similar sport. However, Sever’s is the most common condition associated specifically with childhood heel pain.

Despite its scary name, Sever’s is just an irritation of the growth plate at the back of the heel. It’s usually treated without surgery, and it rarely leads to long-term complications as long as it’s properly addressed. The disease effectively goes away once your child is done growing.

With that said, any form of heel pain that recurs after icing and rest should be investigated by your child’s doctor.

Identifying Cause for Concern

Kids are little humans who often lack balance and full control of their limbs. They stumble, fall, and crash all the time, so you may feel inclined to write-off a little pain or discomfort to their last awkward moment. Fortunately, a few key identifiers will let you know it’s time to get a professional opinion.

  • Your child complains of pain in the same spot more than once.
  • You notice their pain tends to be associated with a specific type of activity. Running and jumping are some common triggers. Sports that require cleats are also more likely to trigger heel pain.
  • Your child is limping. This is a pretty serious sign, so you may not always see it even in cases where your child needs medical attention.
  • Your child’s discomfort doesn’t respond to icing and rest.
  • Or your child is avoiding sports activities that they used to enjoy.

Basically, anything that indicates that your child’s pain is real and recurring should warrant a trip to the doctor’s office. It’s always better to be safe and get your child the heel pain treatment they need.

Treating Childhood Heel Pain

Your child’s treatment will vary depending on their condition. The good news is that most heel pain doesn’t require any surgical intervention. With a condition like Sever’s treatment typically includes daily stretches and a heel cup insert to help provide necessary support while your child is on their feet.

Your child’s heel doctor will carefully monitor their progress for six to twelve months, re-evaluating treatment along the way. Only then will they consider surgical options for conditions that are unlikely to resolve as a result of growth. Fortunately, keyhole surgeries make it easier than ever before to perform these procedures with minimal risk and recovery.

If your child requires minimally invasive heel surgery in Los Angeles, then your child’s heel doctor will take you through the risks, surgical process, and recovery care to ensure that you are fully prepared to help get your child back on their feet and back into the sports they love.

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