Dance Injuries to the Foot and Ankle

Dance Injuries to the Foot and Ankle

Dancing places more physical demand on the foot and ankle and increases their risk of injury. Ballet dancers also have added risk of foot and ankle injury because of specific positions, such as en pointe and demi-pointe, which can add stress to the toes and ball of the foot.

Common dancer's injuries include:

  • Dancer's Fracture or fifth metatarsal fracture is often the result of landing awkwardly on the outside portion of the foot or twisting the ankle.
  • Lateral Ankle Sprain is a common injury among athletes. This may happen from landing awkwardly from a jump or twisting the ankle.
  • Bunions (Hallux Valgus) do not usually develop because of dancing but may be exaccerbated by tight-fitting shoes and repetitive irritation to the big toe joint.
  • Stress Fractures may happen from too much repetitive loading (activity) of the foot, which causes the bones to weaken. This may cause pain and swelling.
  • Ankle Impingement Syndrome, may be anterior or posterior (front or back) of the ankle and is related to bone structures that pinch the soft tissue when the ankle is pointed in one direction or the other.
  • Trigger Toe/Flexor Hallucis Longus Tenosynovitis results from the inability of a tendon to glide within its canal, thus causing it to get stuck. This results in the big toe not being able to move freely through its range of motion and sometimes getting stuck in one position.
  • Sesamoiditis, Hallux Rigidus, Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendonitis all are related to overuse and repetitive trauma.

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