When classical, competition and team dancers get hurt, they are more likely to push through pain than other athletes. Such reluctance to seek help is due to several unique factors, yet all of these challenges are addressed by the health care offered by orthopaedic foot and ankle specialist Nicholas T. Gates, M.D.
Ballet dancers are prone to positional and over-use injuries. Os Trigonum Syndrome (The Nutcracker Syndrome) is a common ankle injury caused by flexing the foot downward en pointe, or standing on tiptoes. "Certain dancers will pinch a bone in the back of the ankle repetitively.... They are cracking a small piece of bone as a nutcracker would crack a walnut," explains Dr. Gates. This repetitive movement may break the bone.
Dance team athletes and those engaged in competitive cheerleading may also experience positional issues and are at increased risk for ankle sprains and injuries from tumbling and gymnastics.
Nicholas T. Gates, M.D., is a board-certified foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine speclalist. He serves as team physician for Highlands High School and treats both athletes and nonathletes. To learn more about Dr. Gates, click HERE.