Hip Pain in Ballet Dancers: Evaluation and Management

J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2022 Dec 1;30(23):1123-1130. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-22-00528. Epub 2022 Oct 13.


Hip and groin injuries are common in ballet dancers, who often begin sport-specific training at a young age. The unique demands of ballet include extreme range of motion, with an emphasis on external rotation and abduction. This creates a distinctive constellation of hip symptoms and pathology in this cohort, which may differ from other flexibility sports. When managing hip symptoms in this cohort, orthopaedic surgeons should consider the unique factors associated with ballet, including ballet-specific movements, morphologic adaptations of the hip, and the culture of the sport. Three common etiologies of hip pain in ballet dancers include femoroacetabular impingement syndrome, hip instability, and extra-articular snapping hip syndrome. First-line treatment often consists of focused physical therapy to strengthen the core and periarticular hip musculature, with surgical management reserved for patients who fail to improve with conservative measures.

MeSH terms

  • Arthralgia / diagnosis
  • Arthralgia / etiology
  • Arthralgia / therapy
  • Dancing* / injuries
  • Hip
  • Hip Injuries*
  • Humans
  • Pain