BACKGROUND: Anterior cruciate ligament injury (ACL) is a common sport injury; however, there are no data concerning dance and ACL injury. We report the incidence, injury mechanism, and clinical follow-up of ACL injury in professional dancers. PATIENTS AND METHODS: In a retrospective cohort study involving the three major dance companies in the Netherlands, by interviewing all 253 dancers who had had a full-time contract during 1991-2002, dancers with symptomatic ACL injury or past ACL reconstruction were identified and examined. RESULTS: 6 dancers (2 of whom were women) had had a symptomatic ACL rupture and reconstruction. Interestingly, all had been on the left side and had had a similar trauma mechanism: while dancing a classical variation they landed, after a jump, on their left leg, in the turned out position with a valgus force on their knee. There was a higher risk of ACL injury in the classical company than in the two contemporary companies. The risk of dancers having a rupture of the left ACL during a 10-year career in this classical company was 7%. INTERPRETATION: ACL injuries are not an infrequently seen type of injury in professional classical dancers, with a very specific mechanism of injury--a landing on the left leg in exorotation. More attention and prophylactic measures should be given to this specific injury mechanism.

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Acta Orthopaedica (Print)
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Meuffels, D., & Verhaar, J. (2008). Anterior cruciate ligament injury in professional dancers. Acta Orthopaedica (Print), 79(4), 515–518. doi:10.1080/17453670710015517