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Pediatrics/Peds tendon pain?


My 10 year old godson is pretty active but has a significant increase in physical activity/running during football season (practices 4/week and 1 game/week). He is completely fine during practices/games, but after he stops running, right about when we get home he has sudden pain to the back of his Left ankle (Achilles tendon area?). Tender when pressed down on, painful with walking, especially up stairs. No redness, bruising, swelling. He has not twisted it or injured it. Improves slightly with ice/elevation. I'm not sure what it is or what to do to help him. I've read some things and think it could maybe be tendonosis, (can kids as young as him even get this?)? Should I be doing exercises with him to help him strengthen it? What can I do? His mother doesn't think it's serious enough to need evaluation by a doctor, because it seems to resolve itself over time..until after his next practice. I'm looking for ways I can support him at home..ankle brace, compression wrap, exercises? I hate seeing him in pain and I don't want this to get progressively worse. Thanks.

Hi, J,

Sorry about the late reply.  
We recently went to Chicago to see two of our kids run in the marathon and I forgot to turn this off.

Your godson probably has Sever's syndrome, a disease of growth.  See your doctor to be sure.  I usually recommend rest, ice after exercise, a heel cup to treat this common apophysitis, an inflammation of the insertion of the tendon into the bone, that usually starts around puberty.  Your doctor can make a definitive diagnosis by exam.

Good luck, Dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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