This site is targeted at medical and radiology professionals, contains user contributed content, and material that may be confusing to a lay audience. Use of this site implies acceptance of our Terms of Use.

Sever disease

Sever disease refers to a calcaneal apophysitis (an inflammation of the apophysis of the heel)  which occurs in children and young adolescents.


It typically presents in active young children (especially ones who engage in jumping and running sports). 


The condition is thought to result from repetitive microtrauma to growth plates of the calcaneus. Although some of the recent articles says, there is no evidence to support that weight and activity levels are risk factors for Sever's disease 6.


High plantar foot pressures are associated with Sever's disease, although it is unclear whether they are a predisposing factor or a result of the condition. Gastrocnemius equinus may be a predisposing factor for Sever's disease 7.

Clinical presentation

Patients tend to present with posterior heel pain which is usually aggravated by physical activity such as walking, running or jumping.

Radiographic features

Sever disease is most often diagnosed clinically, and radiographic evaluation is believed to be unnecessary by many physicians, but if a diagnosis of calcaneal apophysitis is made without obtaining radiographs, a lesion requiring more aggressive treatment could be missed 4.

Plain film

Foot radiographs are usually normal and the radiologic identification of calcaneal apophysitis without the absence of clinical information was not reliable.9


May will show edematous changes within the calcaneal apophysis, possibly extending into the adjacent calcaneal tuberosity 10.

Treatment and prognosis

The condition is self limiting with brief limitation of activity sometimes being advocated. Common advice is to reduce physical activity 8.

History and etymology

It is named after Dr J W Sever, American (US) physician 1.

Updating… Please wait.


Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

Alert_accept Thank you for updating your details.