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Dr. Davidson
Dr. Davidson, Board Certified Pediatrician
Category: Pediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 1058
Experience:  Board Certified Specialist in Pediatrics, Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
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My twelve year old soon has pain on the bottom of his heel

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My twelve year old soon has pain on the bottom of his heel and on the outer side of heel just below ankle after exercise. Is this something we need to have checked out.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Pediatrics
Expert:  Dr. Davidson replied 7 years ago.
Hi there, and thank you for your question. I'm sorry to hear about your son's heel pain, but I believe I can help you out. There are a number of possible causes for a child's heel pain. The diagnosis can be challenging, but there are several conditions that cause heel pain in kids, including: (1) Calcaneal apophysitis. Also known as Sever's disease, this is the most common cause of heel pain in children. Although not a true "disease," it is an inflammation of the heel's growth plate due to muscle strain and repetitive stress, especially in those who are active or obese. This condition usually causes pain and tenderness in the back and bottom of the heel when walking, and the heel is painful when touched. It can occur in one or both feet. (2) Tendo-Achilles bursitis. This condition is an inflammation of the fluid-filled sac (bursa) located between the Achilles tendon (heel cord) and the heel bone. Tendo-Achilles bursitis can result from injuries to the heel, certain diseases (such as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis), or wearing poorly cushioned shoes. (3) Overuse syndromes. Because the heel's growth plate is sensitive to repeated running and pounding on hard surfaces, pediatric heel pain often reflects overuse. Children and adolescents involved in soccer, track, or basketball are especially vulnerable. One common overuse syndrome is Achilles tendonitis. This inflammation of the tendon usually occurs in children over the age of 14. Another overuse syndrome is plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of the band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel to the toes. (4) Fractures. Sometimes heel pain is caused by a break in the bone. Stress fractures—hairline breaks resulting from repeated stress on the bone—often occur in adolescents engaged in athletics, especially when the intensity of training suddenly changes. In children under age of 10, another type of break—acute fractures—can result from simply jumping 2 or 3 feet from a couch or stairway. Since you have already tried inserts for shoes and even bought new shoes, it may be helpful to take a break from vigorous exercise. Most often, rest and anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen can be helpful. However, if the pain persists despite some rest, I would recommend getting it checked out. I hope all of this information helps. Please ask any additional questions, and if you are satisfied with my answer, please click 'accept.' Take care, Dr. Davidson
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