Ballet injuries: injury incidence and severity over 1 year

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2012 Sep;42(9):781-90. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2012.3893. Epub 2012 Jul 19.


Study design: Prospective, descriptive single-cohort study.

Objective: To assess the incidence and severity of injuries to a professional ballet company over 1 year.

Methods: Data for an elite-level ballet company of 52 professional dancers were collected by an in-house medical team using a time-loss injury definition.

Results: A total of 355 injuries were recorded, with an overall injury incidence of 4.4 injuries per 1000 hours (female, 4.1; male, 4.8; P>.05) and a mean of 6.8 injuries per dancer (female, 6.3; male, 7.3; P>.05). Mean injury severity was 7 days (female, 4; male, 9; P<.05). Most injuries were classified as overuse (64%; female, 68%; male, 60%; P>.05); mean severity of injury was 3 days for females and 9 days for males (P<.05). The percentage of traumatic injuries was 32% for females and 40% for males (P<.05); the corresponding severity was 6 and 10 days, respectively (P<.05).

Conclusion: The relatively high number of injuries reported and the resulting loss of dance time support the need to introduce interventions to reduce the risk of injury in professional dancers.J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2012;42(9):781-790. Epub 19 July 2012. doi:10.2519/jospt.2012.3893.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology
  • Dancing / injuries*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Trauma Severity Indices
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Young Adult