Kohler’s Disease

By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
October 26, 2017
Tags: Kohler Disease  

A child’s health is paramount for a parent. As such, parents do everything they can to help their children grow to be strong and healthy. Sometimes due to unforeseen circumstances our children are born with or acquire conditions that need a little more tender love and care. Podiatrists see many such cases come into their offices. The range of different types of conditions that affect an infant or child when they are born can vary. One such instance of this is Kohler disease.

Kohler disease is a rare bone disorder of the foot. Children are much more likely to develop this disease. This is usually due to a lot of stress-related compressions during a very critical point of growth and development. Since children are constantly growing and developing, they are at high risk. It is not unusual to see limping caused by pain. There can also be swelling in the foot. More often than not, it occurs in kids ages three through seven. Usually only one foot is affected instead of both. Male children are more likely to get the disease than females are.

Eventually, children typically grow out of the disorder and the bones go back to their usual size, density and structure. This usually happens in the span of one year’s time. Sometimes it can take up to two years to fully heal.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Pain in the foot
  • Swollen foot
  • Arch tenderness
  • Difficulty walking
  • Difficulty bearing weight
  • Flow of blood to one bone is interrupted
  • Bone degeneration

In most cases symptoms are mild.


The cause of Kohler Disease is unknown. It is thought to be linked to injury of the growth plate in the foot during key developmental phases.


Usually it is recommended to watch and wait. Most cases resolve themselves over time. If there is a severe case that does not seem to be getting better on its own, surgery can be performed.

Is your son or daughter limping when they walk? Is their foot swollen and tender? It might be a sprain or it could be Kohler Disease. Bring them in to see Dr. Andrew H. Cohen of Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. After a thorough examination, he will determine what ailment your child is suffering from. Call 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. We know your child’s health is important.