Title: Overuse injuries in professional ballet and injury-based differences among ballet disciplines
Dr. Francisco J. Sobrino is a Medical specialist in Traumatology and Orthopedic surgery, developing his professional career in the field of Sports & Dance Traumatology, Labor Traumatology, Arthroscopic surgery and musculoskeletal injuries Prevention. He got his Doctor´s degree in Medicine and Surgery at the Complutense University of Madrid with the qualification of Outstanding Cum laude. He did his Masters in Musculoskeletal System Biomechanics and Medical Specialist in Clinical Anatomy, Functional Anatomy of the Knee and Diploma at Musculoskeletal injuries prevention at Complutense University of Madrid and the Spanish National Health Institute. He has published 18 articles in national and international books and Scientific Journals. He achieved 4 awards at national and international Symposium and Congresses. He is also a Member of the Spanish Scientific Society of Traumatology and Orthopedic Surgery, Spanish Society of Sports Traumatology, Spanish Society of Labor Traumatology, Member of the International Dance Council (CID) UNESCO.
Introduction: Despite overuse injuries being previously described as the most frequent in ballet, there are no studies on professional dancers providing the specific clinical diagnoses or type of injury based on the discipline.
Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study performed between January 1, 2005, and October 10, 2010, on injuries occurring in professional dancers from leading Spanish dance companies who practiced disciplines such as classical, neoclassical, contemporary, and Spanish ballet. Data, including type of injury, were obtained from specialized medical services at the Trauma Service, Fremap, Madrid, Spain. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software (version 17.0) was used to perform the statistical analysis.
Results: A total of 486 injuries were evaluated, a significant number of which were overuse disorders (P > .0001), especially in the most technically demanding discipline of classical ballet (82.60%). Injuries were more frequent among female dancers (75.90%) and classical ballet (83.60%). A statistically significant prevalence of patellofemoral pain syndrome was found in the classical discipline (P = .007). Injuries of the adductor muscles of the thigh (P = .001) and of the low back facet (P = .02) in the Spanish ballet discipline and lateral snapping hip (P =.02) in classical and Spanish disciplines were significant.
Conclusion: Overuse injuries were the most frequent injuries among the professional dancers included in this study. The prevalence of injuries was greater for the most technically demanding discipline (classical ballet) as well as for women. Patellofemoral pain syndrome was the most prevalent overuse injury, followed by Achilles tendinopathy, patellar tendinopathy, and mechanical low back pain.
Keywords: overuse injuries; ballet injuries; professional dancers; ballet disciplines