ballerina feet 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

This picture is courtesy of some colleagues in South America. Is shows the dichotomy of a ballerina's grace & beauty and how it's often coupled with pain & deformity. It's amazing what lies under a ballet shoe.

That said, I find that over my years of practice, aside from the non-compliant diabetic patients, my toughest patients are professional dancer's & athletes. They are difficult because of their passion for their chosen field; may it be dancing, running, or some other sport. I have noticed that these patients have little "patience" and that expectations are frequently unrealistic despite what they are told. Compliance is also a major issue since many return to activity before they are healed from a surgical procedures or because they don't allow a certain condition to rest in order for the body to heal itself.

What are some of your experiences / comments regarding athletes & dancers?

  • Comments (7)
  • Quote:
    I remember one ballerina who was in her college years & was in her last season as a professional dancer & even though she had offers to continue as a professional after college, she decided to go to either Medical School or Law School (I forgot which, she was a top 10 student at Julliard in New York City). I had seen her during the semester & treated her sesamoidiitis with injections & padding, and orthoses, & she did very well. All she wanted to do was get through the season. After school and the ballet season was over, if memory serves me correct, I performed a Scarf bunionectomy with some sesamoid planing. She did real well & her parents were actually patients of mine for many years after that.


    What was the foot type of this ballerina?

    and

    Do you have any long term followup?

    Dennis

  • As Dr. Shavelson posted above, due to the increased stresses & requirements on the 1st MTPJ, most of my "dancer's" had sesamoiditis & bursitis issues at this location. My treatment was palliative and conservative (padding, injections, NSAID's, orthoses, etc). I remember one ballerina who was in her college years & was in her last season as a professional dancer & even though she had offers to continue as a professional after college, she decided to go to either Medical School or Law School (I forgot which, she was a top 10 student at Julliard in New York City). I had seen her during the semester & treated her sesamoidiitis with injections & padding, and orthoses, & she did very well. All she wanted to do was get through the season. After school and the ballet season was over, if memory serves me correct, I performed a Scarf bunionectomy with some sesamoid planing. She did real well & her parents were actually patients of mine for many years after that.

  • Quote:

    Years ago I had a patient who was a ballerina. She had been a student of some great ballet star - possibly Nureyev. She had atrocious bunions. The worst I have seen.

    She had been told that if a ballerina DIDN'T have bunions then he/she wasn't practicing enough. Apparently they can't properly go [do?] en pointe unless they have bad bunions. 


    I had the joy of consulting with Westside Dance Physical Therapy for a number of years.  They are the PT's backstage at The New York City Ballet.

    Every dancer, with rare exception, has a bag of foam and felt that they incorporate into their ballet shoes.

    The dancers feet are a product of their functional foot type, their training technique, their level of skill and their dancing and training time.

    Dame Margaret Fontaine had perfect feet and technique and danced en pointe into her 70's.

    The number one injury in ballet is to the 1st MP Joint.  The #2 injury in ballet is to the 1st IP Joint.

    I incorporate foot centering pads, foot type-specific into the ballet shoes to make the ballerina more trainable and to improve the 1st ray rocker and its power muscle engines ability to morph from a stable lever (en pointe) to a flexible bag of bones (dance movement). I then cast for a ballet foot centering using the dancers actual ballet slipper that the dancer incorporates into her training and performing.

    If the dancer can't morph, bunions are the result.

    I believe that this improves performance, reduces injuries and lengthens the dance career (the same as the average Joe or Jane or athlete that walks through our doors.

    Dennis

    Disclaimer:  I am the patent holder of FFT. Commercial: The next time you see a ballerina, send me the cast and a ballet shoe (profit motive for both of us).

  • Years ago I had a patient who was a ballerina. She had been a student of some great ballet star - possibly Nureyev. She had atrocious bunions. The worst I have seen.

    She had been told that if a ballerina DIDN'T have bunions then he/she wasn't practicing enough. Apparently they can't properly go [do?] en pointe unless they have bad bunions. 

     

     

  • Its an awesome picture. I have actually seen it already. I came across it in some magazine, I think they were doing amazing picture reviews of 2012. When, I saw it I was thinking of blowing it up for the office.
  • Quote:

    ballerina feet 3

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This picture is courtesy of some colleagues in South America. Is shows the dichotomy of a ballerina's grace & beauty and how it's often coupled with pain & deformity. It's amazing what lies under a ballet shoe.

    That said, I find that over my years of practice, aside from the non-compliant diabetic patients, my toughest patients are professional dancer's & athletes. They are difficult because of their passion for their chosen field; may it be dancing, running, or some other sport. I have noticed that these patients have little "patience" and that expectations are frequently unrealistic despite what they are told. Compliance is also a major issue since many return to activity before they are healed from a surgical procedures or because they don't allow a certain condition to rest in order for the body to heal itself.

    What are some of your experiences / comments regarding athletes & dancers?

    Always found the 'professional' athlete, and that includes the dancing cohort, a challenge. For all of the reasons mentioned above. Even the weekend warrior and non-professional runners adopt a similar attitude about professional care and advice. An understandable malady, for the dancer, who must continue, somehow. It is, after all, their lifelihood. And with many an eager competitor, standing in the wing and snapping at their heel (pardon the pun) while sharpening a knife. It's a tough gig. 

    I am a little less sympathetic towards the amateur. There again, that natural high from the endorphin rush is a powerful motivator.