Iselin's Disease

Also known as: Iselin apophysitis, Iselin’s syndrome, traction apophysitis of the fifth metatarsal

What is Iselin’s disease?

Iselin’s disease is an overuse injury that can impact the feet of active children. Specifically, this injury impacts the growth plate of the fifth metatarsal, which is a long bone on the outer part of the foot.

What causes Iselin’s disease?

Iselin’s disease almost always occurs in children due to overuse, which means repetitive running, jumping or other movements. It is common in children who participate in a lot of sports, especially high-impact ones.

What are the symptoms of Iselin’s disease?

Pain during or after activities is the most common symptom of Iselin’s disease. The child may limp or walk on the inside of their foot in order to avoid the pain caused by the condition. There may also be swelling, redness, or a callus on the side of the foot.

How can Iselin’s disease affect children?

Iselin’s disease occurs most commonly in children. It is typically seen between the ages of 8 and 13.

What are Iselin’s disease treatments?

Iselin’s disease is rarely serious, and surgery is not often needed. Many cases resolve on their own with rest, ice, stretching or switching to more supportive footwear. In some cases, custom orthotics may be recommended. In more severe instances, a temporary walking boot or cast can be used to take pressure off the growth plate and relieve pain.

Reviewed by: Alexandra Lewis, CPNP-PC

This page was last updated on: January 16, 2024 01:21 PM

Pediatric Orthopedics, Sports Medicine & Spinal Surgery

Children's orthopedic care needs are different from those of adults. Read more here to learn how our services are tailored to address the unique needs of children and teens.

Learn More