Sever's Disease or Calcaneal Apophysitis

Sever’s Disease

Also called calcaneal apophysitis, Sever’s is a traction apophysitis caused by excessive and repeated traction force from the Achilles on the calcaneus (heel bone). The calcaneus does not reach full maturity until around 12-13 years of age, and for this reason we most commonly see Sever’s in children from the ages of 7 to 14. This condition is also more commonly seen in boys.


The underlying source of this condition is tensile force on the insertion of the Achilles on the calcaneus. This can be exacerbated by a number of things:

  • Rapid growth of the tibia and fibula during growth spurts placing large force on the insertion

  • Tight calf muscles

  • Activities that involve repetitive running, jumping, hopping etc. For example most football codes, basketball, running and gymnastics

  • Shoes with tight heel counters

  • Foot and lower limb mechanics

Signs and Symptoms

  • Pain and tenderness around the posterior and plantar aspect of the heel, which is generally worse after activity or upon wearing shoes with a tight heel counter

  • There may be some swelling in the area

  • A limp or toe walking may be present


  • Rest from aggravating activity

  • PRICE (pain control, rest, ice, compression and elevation)

  • Stretching program

  • Massage

  • Padding, strapping and heel raises

  • Optimisation of foot mechanics

  • If symptoms are persistent please contact one of our podiatrists for a specific treatment plan



Nelson Pollard


Gold Coast Foot Centres