David is 11 years old. On the recommendation of his pediatrician, David and his Dad came to visit with us at Lucky Road/Road. I was working on something in thestock room when they both arrived so I did not have the privilege of greeting them or to observe David’s gait as he walking into our store. A fellow associate came back to let me know there was a client up front that needed my attention. And she was right.
After emerging from the stock room I was able to say hello and shake hands with both David and his Dad. I then listened as the Dad explained about the issues David was having when he walked. David would turn his entire right leg out and had a severe limp. I watched David walk and saw for myself that everything his Dad said was accurate. David had a severe degree external rotation to his entire right leg and foot. There was an obvious torque to the right side of his pelvis and excess loading on his left leg. At first I thought there was an issue with the muscles in and around his right hip. But I needed more information.
At this point I began to address David directly. I asked him if there was any discomfort in and around his right hip. He said no. This puzzled me. I asked about pain anywhere along his right leg. He said the only place that hurt was on his heel. He then pointed directly to the lateral aspect, or outside, of his Achilles tendon. This spurred another thought. I asked the Dad if their Pediatrician had mentioned Severs Disease. While the specific term was not discussed, according to David’s Dad, their pediatrician definitely explained the pathology associated with Severs.
Severs Disease is a temporary musculo-skeletal issue that affects kid’s about the age of 10 to 15. The growth rate of their bones exceeds that of their tendons. Severs Disease specifically addresses the strain to the Achilles Tendon. David’s Achilles was so tight it prevented his ankle joint from flexing properly. In order to move forward David had to turn his right leg and foot to the side.
Once I knew exactly what we were dealing with, I was able to fit David with a pair of shoes that supported his feet much better. Then we observed him walk again and noticed a slight degree improvement. Then I fitted David with an insole to prevent his arches from collapsing while he was in motion. We observed him walk again and noticed even more improvement. The last piece to the puzzle was a heel lift in both shoes which will take strain away from the Achilles and allow it to work in a shorter range of motion.
We observed David one more time. Other than a minor degree of torque to his right pelvis, David’s right leg and foot seemed to be moving in a very efficient range of motion. More importantly he was no longer in pain. Both David and his Dad left Lucky Road/Road much happier than when they arrived.
~ Jeff Van Horn, Lucky Road