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Readers Respond: Worst Dance Injuries

Responses: 54

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Sprain

One of the injuries I have had in dancing is spraining my feet, especially when I took a wrong step...
—Guest ara alfaro

Back

I have a very, very flexible back and it's very arched all of the time. One day I was doing aerials and then my lower right side started to hurt so bad. I kept dancing for a few months through the pain then the left started hurting too. It was the worst pain ever imaginable. I was thinking how it is in my back...I'm young! Why is this happening to me? So I went to a chiropractor and got xrays ... nothing showed up. So he did regular treatment every day for three weeks. It did not get better. Then I got an MRI and in it they saw two stress fractures in my L4 on each side, left and right. I was told to be out for three and a half months and given a back brace. A month later was nationals. I wasn't supposed to dance...but I did. I went back to the docter three weeks ago and got a CT scan and the left side is completely healed but the right isn't. So I am dancing with my brace which is very difficult! My back is still hurting. I hope it heals by competition season!
—Guest Lauren

My Ankle

I messed up my ankle a day before my 15th. I was at the last practice when all of a sudden I'm on the floor. I don't know how it happened, just remembered being on the floor in pain with everyone surrounding me. I thought it was a sprain but the next morning I woke up in tears. After a few months of me being stubborn and not wanting to see a doctor, I gave in and it turns out I had torn a ligament. I had to wear a brace for months. After those months I got new heels and thought I'd try them out and dance in them. While I was dancing the heel got stuck to the carpet (I'm in the living room). I messed up the same ankle I had twisted so I ended up on the floor in tears. I don't wear heels anymore. My 15 was more than a year ago and my ankle still hurts to this day.
—Guest teen

Bum Knee

I tore my mcl and dislocated my kneecap all doing a kick out of a turn. I'm still in a brace after 4 months...but I go back to dance class in a week. The life of a dancer!
—Guest tiara

Just Before

Two weeks before my big show I got ankle tenosynovitis and continued dancing...on pointe, 7 months later, and weeks of physical therapy, it still hurts.
—Guest Hannah

Elbow, then Knee

Dislocated my elbow during a dress rehearsal the night before the show, then in a panic re-set it myself. (Yes, I'm fine.) A few months later I tore my PCL in my left knee and then developed a Baker's cyst there as well. I'm in physical therapy now, (no surgery needed) but am still suffering complications from that one.
—Guest Libby

Torn tendons in my knee

I was practicing for my dance recital and I have to leap turn and land in a split, and I am a very flexible person and have done that move a million times, so when I landed and heard it I knew I was done. The pain was unbearable and even worse I couldn't dance in my recital. I'll be on crutches for weeks and in a brace for months and whether I'll be able to dance again in the next year is questionable.
—Guest alexis

Pulled hamstring

I am a dancer and I just became flexible this year. I have pulled both hamstrings in the last two months. It's horrible and there's a lot of pain but not only pain, I can't stretch which means I can't be flexible for dance and sometimes when I dance it reallly hurts. How long does it take to heal? My left hamstring I pulled 2 1/2 months ago and my right last week. Also, what caused them to pull?
—Guest Dancer

Fractured my foot

I was practicing leaps and came down on the side of my foot. The crack was so loud it could be heard over the music. I immediately collapsed to the floor and was unable to stand up and place any weight on it. I had a spiral fracture or a "dancer's fracture". I was unable to put any weight on the foot for over two months in order to avoid surgery to repair the fracture. Although the surgeon who treated said I probably would not dance again, I'm still dancing. (Although I now struggle with a knee injury that may require surgery soon.)
—Guest Andrea

Chicken Legs

I was at a competition. In the middle of my rehearsal, I was supposed to bring my leg up toward my head. The choreographer pushed too hard too quickly, then my leg that was on the ground just gave in. . I heard it snapping. I was dislocated. Yeah, that's, me chicken legs! Everybody tried to convince me wrong but I knew I had chicken legs :'(. . But well look at me today...3 months later, still dancing even though it hurts every single day of my life.
—Guest Steph

Torn, Then Twisted Then Collapsed

Well I am a dancer. I'm 15 and I do ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop and musical theater. Me and a group of dancing friends were doing a dance for the school talent quest. We had warmed up but not well. In our dance (it was Jazz/Hip-hop/Funk) we had 3 sets of splits. On the first, about 10 second into the dance I went down and heard a tearing sound, felt the pain but just ignored it as it was a fairly short dance. So I did the next two sets of splits, four high kicks, two fans with a smile stuck on my face. When we finished I managed to get off stage. I couldn't walk. I went to my friend's whose mum was a nurse that night. Only then did we notice the huge black bruise under my bum. Doctor said I had completely torn the top of my hamstring off my bone. 3 months on crutches, 1 month with one and 8 months of physio. I can dance again but it still hurts. Oh the joys of dancing.
—Guest Lauren

Ballroom

Severe Achilles Tendonitis from ballroom dancing. Am an instructor AND competitor. Now waiting to hear about surgery
—Guest danca

Foot

About 8 months ago I was doing a dance performance for a competition. Around the beginning of the dance there was a lift and I landed on my right foot funny. It hurt badly but I was hoping it would just pass so I kept dancing. It wasn't until about 30 seconds in that I realized how serious it actually was because I couldn't point my foot and putting any weight on it was excruciating. But I didn't want to throw the whole dance off by just walking off the stage and leaving my partner there with nothing to do. So I pushed through and finished it. I broke down as soon as I got off of the stage and went straight to the clinic for x-rays. Turns out I fractured my right metatarsal. I was stuck in an air cast for 7 weeks, and even though it's healed now, it still hurts every so often.
—Guest Kristen

It hurt a lot!

I was at competition, and the back of my ankle started hurting. I later went to the doctor to discover it was my achilles tendon, and he was worried about snapping it, but my recital was the next day...
—Guest dance

my knee

I was practicing for my dance show. I did a jump and landed wrong. Lets just say. now im limping.(i had to drop out of the dance show too)
—Guest Eleanor

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