True to form, Sarah has been complaining of foot pain lately. For some reason every spring she has managed to injure a body part. We have been through two stress fractures and one pulled tendon in the knee. This time around she was having ankle pain which I was attributing to the Achilles tendon.
I feel like I have earned an MD since having kids. A google MD that is. After complaining about the pain for a few weeks I decided to take her to our orthopedic specialist. I say “our” like we own them. We might. When we leave they say “see you in six months”. When your kid has the nickname scrappy it is bound to happen.
After a few X-rays it was determined that Sarah has Sever’s Disease. I gave an air fist pump and Napoleon Dynamite style “YES!’. I hit the self diagnosis jackpot. Love google.
Sarah’s eyes got enormous….I HAVE A DISEASE? Sounds frightening doesn’t it? It is actually quite common amongst active kids.
Sever’s disease, also called calcaneal apophysitis, is a painful bone disorder that results from inflammation of the growth plate in the heel. A growth plate, is an area at the end of a developing bone where cartilage cells change over time into bone cells. As this occurs, the growth plates expand and unite, which is how bones grow.
Sever’s disease is a common cause of heel pain in growing kids, especially those who are physically active. It usually occurs during the growth spurt of adolescence, the approximately 2-year period in early puberty when kids grow most rapidly. This growth spurt can begin any time between the ages of 8 and 13 for girls and 10 and 15 for boys. Sever’s disease rarely occurs in older teens because the back of the heel usually finishes growing by the age of 15, when the growth plate hardens and the growing bones fuse together into mature bone.
Sarah is going to live. No need to send flowers. But it sure makes the painful decision not to play soccer in the spring seem like a brilliant one.
We decided to push the “no weight-bearing activities” treatment plan a little. She won’t practice futsal but will play her last three games. She is willing to deal with the pain, knowing it will be the end.
We did get some good news. Sarah, the smallest on the growth scale of the three, may end up the tallest. The upside of large growth plates at 11? Lots of growing left to do.
And once again, thanks to Sarah, we have met our annual deductible by February! I love my scrappy girl.