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Heel Pain... It's Different for Kids!

A child’s heel pain is different from heel pain in adults. Most cases of adult heel pain are due to plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of a ligament like structure that attaches to the bottom of the heel bone. Planta fasciitis is rare in children. A child’s heel pain is usually an inflammation of the growth plate of the heel bone. Growth plates are cartilage structures that allow the bone to get bigger during growth and development. The growth plate in the heel is in the back of it. Growth plate pain can occur between the ages of 8 to 15. This is usually the time when growth is coming to an end and the growth plate is becoming solid bone. Children who participate in sports or dance are most prone to inflammation of the heel bone growth plate. The name for this condition is calcaneal apophysitis The best home remedies for this condition are ice, avoiding being barefoot, a heel cup, and rest. If the pain lasts for more than a couple of weeks, having us evaluate it would the best option. Certain mechanical imbalances can lead to increased stress through the heel area and can contribute to this condition. Growth plate inflammation can last for years if not treated. Once the heel bone is complete, the tendency for this condition goes away. Seeing a child limping or shying away from physical activity should be a cause for concern. Physical examination and x-rays can help make the diagnosis and rule out other causes of heel pain. With simple treatments, most children can get back to sports quickly.

Paul Betschart, DPM Dr. Betschart has over 26 years of experience in treating patients of all ages with all kinds of foot and ankle conditions. His mission is to provide you with helpful information about foot and ankle issues and the latest developments in healthcare.

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