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For Parents Sever's Disease anyone?

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Blackie6

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Mar 1, 2007
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Had to take my DD (8) back to the Ped Ortho today. The past few weeks she has been limping, hopping and I was thinking she either re-fractured it or the cyst that was in her heel at the fracture site and become larger. Just to re-cap, she had fractured it in December and was out of commision for about 6-8 weeks with just conditioning and tumble trak. Well, I feel like she hasn't been the same since. There was a period of time were she had no pain and seemed to start progressing, but still not 100%. Then she had a back strain and frankly I am feeling like the horrible parent to have my DD have these problems so young. She limped out of school one day after gym class and playing freeze tag. Then she hit it on a curb going to teener ball practice. The running, jumping, of her normal self seems to aggrivate it. The L5's will start competing earlier than planned (in Sept/Oct) so they have been working the L5 stuff, but my DD can't get thru practice with this heel problem that won't heal! So, got the appointment and was expecting back to walking boot prision. I even contemplated asking the doctor to put her in a full body cast because she just can't seem to sit still & take it easy. Well, he says it Sever's and her growth plates in her heel are inflammed and tight and it's caused by her high activity level (gymnastics) and recent growth spurt. He showed her an excercise to do several times a day and before practice, she has to go back to wearing her heel cups again, and I guess this will just sort itself out eventually? Now that I'm home though I feel like there is so much more I want to know about this. Has anyone here had a DD go thru this? Are there any other recomendations that would help us? Is this just the begining of more problems down the road for her? Will the pain discourage her in a sport she loves?

Thanks!
 
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msl529

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I am sorry you & dd are dealing w/ this issue. My dd has had it several times. The pain comes, stays for a while, then mysteriously just, goes away. Only for it to re-appear much later. I think she's gone thru, maybe 3 or 4 rounds of it so far.

It's the growth spurts. The tendons cannot keep up w/ the growth of the bones they are attached to, and are painful when the kid is active. It's also apparently a very big prob w/ competitive 'Club'-type soccer players.

The exercises really, truly, did help. Make SURE she stretches well, before AND after practice. The heel cups helped when my dd was not at gym, as it gave her over-stretched ankle a more 'neutral' resting position during the day. Advil as needed. Ice before & after practice, all these things did make a difference for my dd.

The only thing you can do to 'make it go away', is nothing but wait. But while she is having the issue, the things above-mentioned help w/ the pain.

Hang in there, you are not a bad mom! She is jsut growing, and that is a good thing! Good luck! :)
 

bogwoppit

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Mine went through severs for a while, she wore Tuli's cheetahs until this fall and they really helped, we limited the running and tumbling for a long time. She took Oscon which really seemed to help, but they do have to swallow the pills and they a biggish. She also stretches and ices daily, even now when not in the gym, and that makes a huge difference. It has been a lot of work.

Some kids just seem to get hurt more than others, it bites, but it's life. My DD has learned to suck it up and get over it. She hasn't progressed the way she would've had she never had issues, but it hasn't stopped her loving gym.

Try not to let it get you down, it is just one of those things that cannot be helped. If your DD is loving gym then it's fine, if she gets tired of the injuries maybe she will move on to other things.

Here are a few old threads where we talked about heel pain and severs.

The Chalk Bucket - Search Results
 

Gymmonkeymomma

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Mar 7, 2008
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I'm sorry to hear that your DD is having trouble again. It's hard to have them "rest" when they are used to the high activity level. I hope she will be pain free soon.
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
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Sorry to hear about the heel pain. My gymmie has been through it---worst time being last year. She complained a little about heal pain during this past season, but nothing like it had been. Going barefoot is a big no no and with the summer months coming up, keep her wearing shoes with decent support(even sandals aren't much good)---you can put the gel heel inserts in her shoes to lesten a little of the impact. Icing and ibuprofen also help some girls.

What was the most helpful to my gymmie was soaking her feet in warm water every night. She still does it and says if her heal/s are starting to get sore, this seems to help her.

As everyone else said, it will run its course, but you might want to have her back off on conditioning that involves alot of pounding, limit vault(hitting the springboard is a killer) and only tumble on tumble trak until she's feeling better.
 

Tumblequeensmom

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Feb 19, 2007
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Sorry you're having to deal with this. I'ts always something w/the gymmies, isn't' it? I do know 3 girls who have been dealing with Severs... one is 13 and the other 2 are 12. They all have the "cheetahs" as well for practice and competitions. They really say that they do help. Good luck and maybe it's worth a try!
 

Granny Smith

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Jun 21, 2007
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Sorry to hear that your dd has Sever's! You have received a lot of good information. The only thing that I would add is that she wear a good pair of running type sneakers when she is not in the gym - no flip-flops or flats, provide her heel with good support.

Icing can be helpful too.

I guess she doesn't have much time now with the change in seasons for level 5. I am sure that she will do fine, but we always hate to see our little ones in pain....
 

mariposa

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Sep 25, 2007
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No advice for you, just sending lots of hugs to both of you. Hope all the great advice helps you guys out. :goodvibes:
 
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taximom

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Sorry to hear about your DD's heel pain.
We have a sinilar if not the same issue. DD is 10 turning 11. Doctor asks if DD has grown alot Yes she has o-kay well the ligament hasn't grown and stretched as fast as she has.
Chiropractor first thought plantar fascitis and recommended 2 weeks in running shoes and no tumbling or vaulting. No difference noticed by DD at all. We go back to Chiropractor who now does ultrasound therapy and adjusted her heel as he said it was out of place. We are 10 days into this new approach and it is still causing pain.
DD is stuborn and has a high pain tolerance and I wish she would take it easier than she does. She has a meet this weekend and I'm terrified she'll snap her already too tight achilles. There are days I wonder if I'm suited to being a parent in this sport......:(
 

gym law mom

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Taximom---Get the child to an ortho. Chiropractors are not even trained to treat the foot---their training is for the back. Basically what you were told is correct. The tibia/fibula(bones in the lower leg) are growing and pulling on the Achilles which hasn't grown along with them. That in turn tugs a little on the growth plate in the heel. Ultrasound really doesn't accomplish much and her bones aren't out of alignment. An ortho can do a much better exam, check and x-ray to make sure there is no stress fracture and give your dd some exercises to do. Wearing good shoes with a gel heel insert is a good idea----no barefoot, flip flops etc. Others have mentioned heel cups that she can wear in the gym. Back off on pounding activities in the gym and at home if the pain is too bad. Ice/ibuprofen after practice.

Not likely that she'll tear her Achilles.
 

kevchriswilli

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Sep 4, 2008
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we have battled this off and on for 3 years now...We just use the cheetah heel cups and no bare feet!! Lots of ice and motrin. It seems to start, get worse and then go away. Sorry your gymmie is experiencing this. Our girls do alot of tumble track when it is acting up.
 
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taximom

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Ordered the tuli's cheetah supports today should arrive within 48 hours. Anyone in Canada needing them there is a supplier in Winnipeg I found online.
3 years is a very long time! Our gymn doesn't have a tumble track so DD isn't doing much tumbling right now.
Thanks for the reassurance about not tearing the achilles I saw a teenage girl tear hers in our a couple of years ago quite painful and a very long recovery time.
 

bogwoppit

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Feb 26, 2007
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Ordered the tuli's cheetah supports today should arrive within 48 hours. Anyone in Canada needing them there is a supplier in Winnipeg I found online.
3 years is a very long time! Our gymn doesn't have a tumble track so DD isn't doing much tumbling right now.
Thanks for the reassurance about not tearing the achilles I saw a teenage girl tear hers in our a couple of years ago quite painful and a very long recovery time.


I got my DD's Tuli's from Kinemedics, they are in Ottawa.

No tumble track at our gym either, it was a looong few year with no tumbling/vault and really slowed her down.
 
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taximom

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We went back to family doc this morning as we can't just go to an ortho here need a referral. She had DD's feet x-rayed and I talked to her about a referral to Fowler Sport Clinic in London which has a great reputation. Tuli's cheetahs came in this morning! :)
Gotta love that air shipping option!
 
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