Injury Epidemiology in Professional Ballet: A Five-Season Prospective Study of 1596 Medical Attention Injuries and 543 Time-Loss Injuries

Adam Mattiussi, Joseph Shaw, Sean Williams, Phil Price, Derrick Brown, Daniel Cohen, Richard Clark, Shane Kelly, Greg Ritter, Charles Pedlar, Jamie Tallent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)

Abstract

Objectives To describe the incidence rate, severity, burden and aetiology of medical attention and time-loss injuries across five consecutive seasons at a professional ballet company.

Methods Medical attention injuries, time-loss injuries and dance exposure hours of 123 professional ballet dancers (women: n=66, age: 28.0±8.3 years; men: n=57, age: 27.9±8.5 years) were prospectively recorded between the 2015/2016 and 2019/2020 seasons.

Results The incidence rate (per 1000 hours) of medical attention injury was 3.9 (95% CI 3.3 to 4.4) for women and 3.1 (95% CI 2.6 to 3.5) for men. The incidence rate (per 1000 hours) of time-loss injury was 1.2 (95% CI 1.0 to 1.5) for women and 1.1 (95% CI 0.9 to 1.3) for men. First Soloists and Principals experienced between 2.0–2.2 additional medical attention injuries per 1000 hours and 0.9–1.1 additional time-loss injuries per 1000 hours compared with Apprentices (p≤0.025). Further, intraseason differences were observed in medical attention, but not time-loss, injury incidence rates with the highest incidence rates in early (August and September) and late (June) season months. Thirty-five per cent of time-loss injuries resulted in over 28 days of modified dance training. A greater percentage of time-loss injuries were classified as overuse (women: 50%; men: 51%) compared with traumatic (women: 40%; men: 41%).

Conclusion This is the first study to report the incidence rate of medical attention and time-loss injuries in professional ballet dancers. Incidence rates differed across company ranks and months, which may inform targeted injury prevention strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-850
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume55
Issue number15
Early online date9 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • dance
  • injury prevention
  • sports and exercise medicine
  • surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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