Here’s how Dr. Danielle Shaper keeps kids ready to play

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Podiatrist Dr. Danielle Shaper, owner of Finesse Footcare, offers treatment options for sports-related injuries like Sever’s disease.

By Patricia Nugent

When Governor Mike DeWine gave the green light for youth summer sports to return to Ohio, you could practically hear the kids cheering.

As they make their way back to the fields, courts and tracks, athletes and parents should keep in mind this is also the season for sports-related injuries and ailments.

“Some common issues I see in 10- to 15-year-olds affect the growth plates, which are areas of cartilage near the ends of bones that allow them to grow,” says podiatrist Dr. Danielle Shaper, founder of Finesse Footcare in Lyndhurst.

Injuries are easily detected and diagnosed in her office with a digital X-ray.

Mainly caused by repetitive stress to the heel, she says growth plate injuries often occur in sports with lots of running and jumping, like soccer, baseball and basketball, as well as dancing.

“One that I treat a lot is called Sever’s disease, which causes pain due to inflammation of the heel’s growth plate in children and adolescents,” she says.

Treatment includes a stretching regimen and resting the foot, sometimes immobilizing it in a walking boot or cast.

“If your child is complaining about heel pain, it should be checked out, as growth plate injuries can become serious if they are left untreated, affecting growth, and eventually causing bone deformity,” she says.

In addition to growth plate injuries, other pediatric cases Dr. Shaper sees include warts, bunions, flat feet, hammertoes, ankle sprains and fractures.

Another frightening ailment to watch out for right now is Covid toe.

“It manifests in the feet of children and adolescents and almost looks like frostbite,” she says. “The toes turn a blue-ish color and often have red or purple lesions that are itchy or painful. In most cases the children do not present with other coronavirus symptoms, just the toes. It’s a bit of a medical mystery at this point. Doctors are developing theories as to the cause, whether inflammation or an immune response to Covid-19.”

Finesse Footcare is located at 5035 Mayfield Road in Lyndhurst. As a full-service podiatrist, Dr. Shaper also treats most foot and ankle issues, such as ingrown toenails, bunions, heel pain, hammertoes, and corns. She also offers diabetic footcare, orthotics, sports medicine and surgical solutions, along with basic routine foot care. The practice accepts a wide variety of insurance plans. Call 216-382-8070 or visit for more information.