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Prevalence and Associated Factors of Sever's Disease in an Athletic Population

Nicolò Martinelli Department of Ankle and Foot Surgery, IRCCS Instituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, Milan, Italy.

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Andrea Spreafico Department of Orthopedics, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.

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Irene Tramacere Department of Statistics, Carlo Besta Neurological Institute, Milan, Italy.

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Daniele Marcolli Department of Orthopedics, Cuggiono Hospital, Cuggiono, Italy.

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Federico Valli Department of Orthopedics, IRCCS Galeazzi, Milan, Italy.

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Domenico Curci Department of Pediatric Orthopedics, IRCCS IRCCS Instituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, Milan, Italy

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Background:

Sever's disease is a common cause of pain in growing kids. Many papers reported in the literature discuss this pathologic condition, but no consensus regarding its etiology has been found among researchers. The aim of the present study was to describe the epidemiologic profile and associated factors of 430 athletic children in a population-based sample of soccer (29.5%), basketball (48.1%), and volleyball (22.3%) players aged 6 to 14 years.

Methods:

Every athlete was evaluated through physical examination, the Foot Posture Index (FPI), the Oxford Ankle Foot Questionnaire, and a custom-made sports questionnaire.

Results:

These data show that body mass index, sex, terrain type, sports discipline, and FPI should not be considered as risk factors for calcaneal apophysitis, whereas a significantly higher risk has been found in younger individuals (P < .01), in those with fewer training sessions per week (P = .02), and in those with shorter training sessions (P < .01).

Conclusions:

The prevalence of Sever's disease in the athletic children evaluated in the present study was higher in younger and less active patients, whereas no differences were registered by sex, FPI, body mass index, terrain type, or sports discipline.

Corresponding author: Nicolò Martinelli, MD, PhD, Department of Ankle and Foot Surgery, IRCCS Instituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, via R. Galeazzi 4, Milan, 20100, Italy. (E-mail: n.martinelli@unicampus.it)