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Plantar Pressures in Children With and Without Sever’s Disease

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  • 1 Escuela Universitaria Enfermeria, Fisioterapia y Podologia, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
  • | 2 Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain.
  • | 3 Soccer Club Atlético de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
  • | 4 Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
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Background: A case-control study was conducted to compare static plantar pressures and distribution of body weight across the two lower limbs, as well as the prevalence of gastrocnemius soleus equinus, in children with and without calcaneal apophysitis (Sever’s disease).

Methods: The participants were 54 boys enrolled in a soccer academy, of which eight were lost to follow-up. Twenty-two boys with unilateral Sever’s disease comprised the Sever’s disease group and 24 healthy boys constituted a control group. Plantar pressure data were collected using pedobarography, and gastrocnemius soleus equinus was assessed.

Results: Peak pressure and percentage of body weight supported were significantly higher in the symptomatic feet of the Sever’s disease group than in the asymptomatic feet of the Sever’s disease group and the control group. Every child in the Sever’s disease group had bilateral gastrocnemius equinus, while nearly all children in the control group had no equinus.

Conclusions: 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. Further research is needed to identify other factors involved in the disease and to better understand the factors that contribute to abnormal distribution of body weight in the lower limbs. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(1): 17–24, 2011)

Corresponding author: Ricardo Becerro de Bengoa Vallejo, DPM, PhD, Escuela Universitaria Enfermeria, Fisioterapia y Podologia, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Avenida Complutense s/n, Madrid, 28040 Spain. (E-mail: ribebeva@enf.ucm.es)