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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

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