Background Ankle injuries are common injuries among pre-professional dancers. An overview of the incidence and risk factors is however lacking.
Objective To examine the incidence and risk factors of ankle injuries among contemporary pre-professional dancers.
Design Prospective cohort study.
Setting Codarts University of the Arts, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Patients (or Participants) 91 first-year contemporary pre-professional dancers, from Bachelor Dance (n=59) and Bachelor Dance Teacher (n=32) were included.
Interventions (or Assessment of Risk Factors) At the start of the academic year all dancers completed a questionnaire, underwent a physical screening measuring the ankle range of motion (ROM) and dorsiflexion. During the academic year, all dancers completed monthly questionnaires on the occurrence of an ankle injury that were referred to in the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center (OSTRC) questionnaire. Injuries were defined into substantial injuries (score ≥13 on question 2 or 3 of OSTRC questionnaire), injuries leading to medical attention and to dance time-loss. Potential risk factors for an ankle injury included dancer characteristics, history of ankle injury in previous year, ankle ROM and dorsiflexion.
Main Outcome Measurements The number of self-reported ankle injuries during one academic year.
Results 17 (18.7%) dancers reported an ankle injury, with a total of 33 injuries. Of these dancers reporting an ankle injury, 82.4% led to dance time-loss (mean number of 19.9 days unable to fully participate), 47.1% to medical attention and 41.2% were substantial injuries. No significant risk factors for ankle injuries could be identified.
Conclusions Almost 20% of first-year pre-professional dancers reported an ankle injury, with more than 80% of these injuries leading to dance time-loss. No significant risk factors could be identified for ankle injuries throughout the academic year. Since ankle injures are common injuries among dancers, research in larger dance populations with longer term of follow-up, including relevant risk factors, is necessary to evaluate the impact of these injuries further.
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