The surgeon may select one or more of the following options to treat calcaneal apophysitis:
- Reduce activity - ?The child needs to reduce or stop any activity that causes pain.
- Support the heel - Temporary shoe inserts or custom orthotic devices may provide support for the heel.
- Medications - Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, help reduce the pain and inflammation.
- Physical therapy - Stretching or physical therapy modalities are sometimes used to promote healing of the inflamed issue.
- Immobilization - In some severe cases of pediatric heel pain, a cast may be used to promote healing while keeping the foot and ankle totally immobile.
Often, heel pain in children returns after it has been treated because the heel bone is still growing. Recurrence of heel pain may be a sign of calcaneal apophysitis or it may indicate a different problem. If your child has a repeat bout of heel pain, be sure to make an appointment with your foot and ankle surgeon.
Can Calcaneal Apophysitis Be Prevented?
The chances of a child developing heel pain can be reduced by:
- Avoiding obesity
- Choosing well-constructed, supportive shoes that are appropriate for the child’s activity
- Avoiding or limiting wearing of cleated athletic shoes
- Avoiding activity beyond a child’s ability.