The injury panorama in a Swedish professional ballet company

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2001 Jul;9(4):242-6. doi: 10.1007/s001670100195.


We performed a combined retro- and prospective study of injuries in a Swedish professional, classical ballet company during 5 consecutive years. There were 390 injuries incurred by 98 dancers over a 5-year period, i.e., 0.6 injuries/1000 dance hours. Most injuries were considered to be due to overuse. The median sick leave was 2.3 weeks per injury. The foot and ankle region is vulnerable in classical ballet dancers, and overuse injuries can result in long periods of sick leave. Of the dancers employed for more than 1 year 95% were suffered injuries during the study period. We found considerable differences in the injury profile between male and female and between younger and older dancers. Male dancers suffered more frequently from acute injuries to the knee joint. Traumatic injuries were seen most frequently in male soloists. Female dancers more often suffered overuse injuries, especially to the foot and ankle region. The younger dancers more often suffered traumatic injuries, for example, ankle sprain, and also stress fractures.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ankle Injuries / epidemiology
  • Dancing / injuries*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sprains and Strains / epidemiology
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology