There are few sports that place more of a demand on the foot and ankle of the athlete than dancing. Ballet dancers are universally known to have regular foot injuries. New Jersey foot and ankle specialists report that a large percentage of patients with acute or chronic foot and ankle injuries are professional or competitive dancers.
The key to a successful dancing career? Caring for your feet. This involves warming up properly, icing your feet and ankles after a particularly grueling day of practice or performance, and recognizing the signs of common foot conditions and injuries as soon as they arise. The faster you request an appointment with a foot and ankle specialist, the less likely the injury is to derail your next performance. So what is the first step? Knowing what to look for.
- Dancer’s Fracture: This common name for a fifth metatarsal fracture is one of the leading causes of visits to an orthopedic specialist. A Dancer’s Fracture results from a wrong landing on the foot, resulting in a fracture in the bone. Pain and swelling are usually the most noticeable symptoms.
- Lateral Ankle Sprain: Another possible result of twisting your ankle during an awkward landing, swelling, discoloration and pain are the most common symptoms.
- Bunions: while not a direct result of dancing, tight fitting ballet shoes can trigger these formations on the foot. Generally, the dancer can see these formations on her foot and will feel pain in the area affected.
- Ankle Impingement Syndrome: A result of repeated stress injuries, this is the term for bones that impinge on one another and pinch the soft tissue when the dancer points his or her ankle. Dancers will often feel a sharp pain when pointing the foot.
- Achilles Tendonitis: The result of repeated stress injuries to the foot, this is the term for chronic damage to the ankle tendons. Pain and swelling are the most common symptoms.
Calling an orthopedic specialist at the first sign of pain or swelling can mean the difference between competing in your next show or sitting it out because of an acute ankle injury. Call NJ Foot and Ankle today for a consultation with our team of experts.