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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1990 Aug;(257):257-61.

Achilles tendinitis in ballet dancers.

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Dance and Sport Rehabilitation Clinic, Caracas, Venezuela.


Overuse injuries of tendons are known to occur in persons whose activities submit the tendon to excessive stress. Classical ballet dancers performing en pointe, demie point, or plié exert forces that, although normal in magnitude, are increased in frequency, thus overusing the Achilles tendon. In the present study all cases of Achilles tendinopathy seen in a period of three years in three ballet companies were reviewed by a special orthopedic clinic. The cause, whether by abnormal tension or incorrect use, development, and progression to chronic tendinopathy, as well as measures to prevent it, were analyzed in 19 cases. The methods of treatment, including conservative treatment with rest and refraining from dancing, local treatment such as ice and adhesive strapping, antiinflammatory drugs, local injections, thermotherapy, and laser therapy, were compared, and the time of recovery and ability to resume dancing were evaluated. Two cases required surgical treatment to subside, and the patients had to retire from professional dancing. The roentgenographic diagnosis of stage and progression of the tendinopathy is emphasized as a valuable accessory sign. The similarity in lesions between Achilles and patellar tendon problems was observed and confirmed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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