Question 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.
Answer Hi- this discomfort is enough to require dr visit to properly identify the diagnosis. Often it's this increase in activity that part of problem. He needs to back off all the running, jumping for 7-10 days or you're looking for trouble. Common with his age & cleated shoes he could be aggravating growth center in heel which could show as on again, off again pain. Tendonitis of Achilles' tendon that attaches to back of heel could be related. Trying to play thru this will not be smart. See podiatrist, or orthopaedist & you will be knowing what you are dealing with. Outlook is good but good start is backing off running &getting him evaluated- hope this helps- Dr. Bob Weil
Diagnosis & treatment & PREVENTION of foot & foot related lower extremity sports related problems. Indications & uses of prescription in shoe orthotics. Foot, ankle functional exercises for injury prevention & enhanced performance.
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Publications Podiatry Management Magazine, 9/10/10, "Hitting the Airwaves- this podiatrist uses his own radio show to promote Podiatry
Podiatry Management Mag-6/-7/2010, "Figure Skating, Olympic Gold, & Podiatry
Lower Extremity Review,7/2012, Pediatric Obesity weighs on Bones & Joints
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Evan Lysacek, 2010 men's Olympic Gold Medal figure skating champion.