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31 Risk factors for lower-extremity injuries among contemporary dance students
  1. Christine van Seters1,
  2. Rogier van Rijn2,3,
  3. Marienke van Middelkoop1,
  4. Janine Stubbe2,3
  1. 1Department of General Practice, Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Netherlands
  2. 2Codarts University of the Arts, Netherlands
  3. 3Performing artist and Athlete Research Lab (PEARL), Netherlands


Introduction Contemporary dance students are at high risk for injuries; a yearly overall risk of ≥60% with lower-extremity injuries as the most predominant musculoskeletal injuries. Therefore, the objective was to determine whether student characteristics, lower-extremity kinematics, and strength are risk factors for sustaining lower-extremity injuries in preprofessional contemporary dancers.

Materials and methods A prospective cohort study with 45 1 year students of Bachelor Dance and Dance Teacher was set up. At the beginning of the academic year, injury history (only lower-extremity) and student characteristics (age, sex, educational program) were assessed using a questionnaire. Lower-extremity kinematics [single-leg squat(SLS)], strength (countermovement jump) and height and weight were measured during a physical performance test. Substantial lower-extremity injuries (main outcome) during the academic year were defined as any problems leading to moderate/severe reductions in training volume/performance, or complete inability to participate in dance at least once during follow-up as measured with the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center (OSTRC) Questionnaire. Injuries were recorded on a monthly basis using a questionnaire. Analyses on leg-level were performed using generalized estimating equations(GEE) to test the associations between substantial lower-extremity injuries and potential risk factors.

Results The 1 year incidence of lower-extremity injuries was 82.2%. Of these, 51.4% was a substantial lower-extremity injury. Multivariate analyses identified that ankle dorsiflexion during the SLS (OR1.25;95% CI,1.03–1.52) was a risk factor for a substantial lower-extremity injury.

Conclusions The findings indicate that contemporary dance students are at high risk for LE injuries. Therefore, the identified risk factor (ankle dorsiflexion) should be considered for prevention purposes.

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