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Looking for a doctor


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I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for me. I'll be asking my teacher for recommendations as well. I've had a chronic "pins and needles" sensation in my kneecap since I was about 11 or 12 (the year I started pointe). It gets this pain when I extend the leg to the side. It will hurt in a grand battement as well. While not completely debilitating (I danced for many years on it), it is rather painful and really holds me back from developing proper extension. I'm usually a bit afraid to extend it, and I think it's psychologically affected the way I work on that side. My less flexible (bad) side is actually developing a decent developee, while the "good" leg isn't.


A friend of mine had a possible career ruined by a botched knee surgery and I think I was always afraid of the same thing happening to me. Lately though, I had a friend (not a dancer) who had arthroscopic surgery done and it seems like not a big deal at all.


My college dance teacher suggested that I may have torn some cartilage years ago. Sure seems like it. While it's never gotten any worse in all those years, it hasn't gotten any better. My training is going REALLY well right now. I'm a bit past the stage of expecting a ballet career as a performer, but I'm sure I still have some years left in me for dancing, perhaps in a more modest context. I'd like to get a diagnosis of the problem and some options.


There's many doctors in New York who deal with dancers. I'm wondering if any of you have any personal experience/recommendations/stories about any of them. I'm just starting research on this. I'm very scared of what the MRI will look like since it's been so long. That's why I'm writing WAY too long a post. :rolleyes: I can dance on it so I'm reluctant to do anything, but I'm kind of hoping that maybe once it's taken care of, it'll feel perfect.


My teacher is giving me plenty of exercises to help me hold rotation properly and fixing my alignment. But I'm afraid that the damage was probably done years ago, and no matter how strong I get, the problem's not going to go away. Can anyone reasurre me or recommend where I should go for this. I'm being a baby about this but it's really bugging me. Thanks.

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lampwick, as I am no longer in NYC, I can't recommend a specific doctor and I do think that your current teacher will probably be a good source of info. My guess is that your search will bring you to someone at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries:




Not too many cities can claim such a resource!

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I will be happy to recommend Dr. Phillip A. Bauman of Orthopaedic Associates of New York. One of his associates is Dr. Hamilton, and I believe Dr. Frazier. There may be a third, I'm not sure.


The telephone number is 212-765-2260. Their office is at 58th Street and Columbus. Dr. Bauman is the doctor my daughter was referred to by her physical therapist at West Side Dance Physical Therapy. He is excellent and works with many professional dancers, as well as students dancers and even regular people, too. B)


And of course the Harkness Center is quite well known, too. :rolleyes:

Edited by BW
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Thanks Cabriole. I actually have the phone number to the Harkness Center taped to my computer at work! My teacher will know a good doctor. From what I've read, they usually cut out the offending piece of meniscus in an athlete since rebuiding takes a LONG time to recover from. Not sure if I'd want this though for various reasons. I'm also not entirely sure if torn meniscus is really the problem. More than anything, I'd just like to know.


I admit that I've been doing grand plie in 1st 2nd and 5th. I seemed to be a bit better before that. I have to do ronde de jambe en l'air very carefully as well.



Make me want to wring the neck out of my childhood dance teacher. She "fixed" my pronation by telling me to simply hold my arches up and "fixed" the knee hyperextension by telling me to pull up the kneecaps. Did nothing to help me build strong turnout, which is what a hyperextended, pronated person REALLY needs to do to protect the knees.


If anyone has any personal stories about knees, I'd love to hear them. Not too fun for the Buddy Board, I know :rolleyes:

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BW--those are the names I keep coming across as well. Dr.Baumann did some work on my friend's sister and I think it's Dr. Hamilton who just did Baryshnikov's arthroscopic surgery.


It's good to hear that someone had a positive personal experience with Dr. Baumann. Thanks for posting the info.

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