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Z Orthop Ihre Grenzgeb. 2003 May-Jun;141(3):349-56.

[Injury and overuse pattern in professional ballet dancers].

[Article in German]

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Orthopädische Universitäts- und Poliklinik, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Abteilung für Rheumaorthopädie.



The purpose of the study was to show the injury profile and common discomforts of professional ballet dancers and to examine factors that affect the frequency of the injuries, like age, gender, regeneration activities.


42 female and 35 male dancers in German theaters were evaluated by a questionnaire, training observation, and physical examination.


Common discomfort was described frequently in the lumbar spine (88%), the knee (80.5%), and the ankle (74%). 285 injuries occurred in the female, 282 in the male dancers during a 5-year period. The most frequent injuries were muscle strains and inflammations, mostly of the lower extremity (64%) and the torso (24%). Gender differences were found in shoulder injuries, which occurred in 9% of cases in men, compared to 2.5% in women. 73% of the injuries considered as severe were traumatically caused when performing jumps and lifts. Severe overuse injuries were mostly found in the lower extremity and the lumbar spine, caused by technical deficiencies. 54% still suffered from the consequences of the injury by returning pain, swelling or instability.


This high amount of injuries can be reduced by continuous technical improvement, the use of auxiliary material like joint-protectors or mats and enough time for regeneration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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