Injuries in female dancers aged 8 to 16 years

Nili Steinberg, Itzhak Siev-Ner, Smadar Peleg, Gali Dar, Youssef Masharawi, Aviva Zeev, Israel Hershkovitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context: Most studies of injured dancers have been carried out on professional adult dancers; data on young, nonprofessional injured dancers are sparse. Objective: To identify the types of injuries sustained by recreational dancers and to examine their association with age, joint range of motion, body structure, age at menarche, presence of anatomic anomalies, and physical burden (ie, practice hours en pointe). Design: Descriptive epidemiology study. Setting: The Israel Performing Arts Medicine Center, Tel Aviv. Patients or Other Participants: A total of 569 injured female dancers, aged 8 to 16 years. Main Outcome Measure(s): Dependent variables were 61 types of current injuries that were later classified into 4 major categories: knee injuries, foot and ankle tendinopathy, back injuries, and other injuries. Independent variables were age, joint range of motion, body size and shape, age at menarche, anatomic anomalies, and dance discipline (eg, hours of practice per week en pointe). Results: At least 1 previous injury had been sustained by 42.4% of the dancers. The most common injuries involved the knee (40.4%), followed by other injuries (23.4%). The relative frequency of back injuries and tendinopathy decreased with age, whereas knee injuries increased. Types of injuries were significantly associated with ankle plantar flexion, hip external rotation, hip abduction, and knee flexion. Multinomial regression analysis revealed only 3 predictive variables (with other as baseline), all for back injury: scoliosis, age, and hip external rotation. Conclusions: Joint range of motion and scoliosis may signal the potential for future injury. Young dancers (less than 10 years of age) should not be exposed to overload (especially of the back) or extensive stretching exercises

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-123
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Athletic Training
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Athletes
  • Body mass index
  • Children
  • Practice time
  • Range of motion
  • Scoliosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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