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DS fell on Sun and has been diagnosed with a buckle fracture in his right wrist. Emergency medical facility put a splint on and advised a follow up appt with pediatrician in a week. My question is about activity pertinent to his ballet training. He is 13 and has a schedule of 8 hours of ballet technique, with 3 hrs. jazz and 1 modern. Logically I think he should not be jumping or turning at this point, but what kind of modified schedule would you suggest(or have done yourself due to this type of injury). Or should we wait until he's seen a doctor? Should he be just resting at this point? I'm also curious about any homeopathic avenues. I've heard of dancers using Arnica gel to relieve swelling and pain. Any suugestions would be appreciated.

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He should be alright taking class, jumping and turning, if it is in a cast or the slint is restrictive. Ice and arnica help with the swelling - ICE is best. If it is in a cast, ice is a challenge but you can put it in a plastic bag to protect the cast and stick it in ice water.


Please take your son to a pediatric orthopedist soon to examine the break. Often xrays do not show the extent of damage until a few days have past.


Partnering places a great deal of stress on the wrists, especially contemporary ballets, and it must be set and heal properly or it will bother him in the future. I broke my wrist toward the end of my career and it did not set exactly. I could do everything asked of me, but there were (are) moments of pain and it gets stuck a bit. I did perform and partner with the cast on - learned a great deal on how to use my palm as the cast made me keep an open hand!


Not to overdramatize the situation, but with all injuries a sports medicine orthopedist (or one specializing in dancers) is best. Most ERs and pediatricians focus on normal use - ballet demands much more than that!!!


Finally, please make sure the doctor prescribes a course of physical therapy when the cast is off.

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Not a doctor here, but I wouldn't have him doing any dancing until a doctor had a look at the break - is he in a cast or just a splint at this time??? I would err on the cautious side, but that is just me!!! :shrug:

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I have had lots of dancers taking class with arm and wrist breaks. As long as the break is immobilized and protected, he can still do most everything. Holding the barre may be a bit of a problem on one side, but there are ways to work around that :shrug:

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Victoria, you're so right! Ds took barre only tonight, he did'nt realize how much he relied on the barre~ Had to work that much harder from his center. mbjerk, partnering is not an issue at this time, but appreciate the recommendation of both physical therapy and a specialist. For now he is only splinted so ice is fairly easy to apply. Hopefully we'll know more after Dr. visit on Friday.

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Hi everyone, I'm new in this forum. I have a young boy taking ballet classes for two years now... And consequently, some questions have arisen since. Especially those concerning injuries. I wanted to know if anyone of you could list the major injuries the boys/men have. And if it is not too much, if you have any recommandations to prevent those injuries, that would be great :wub: . Thanks a lot for your answers.

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Hi Pami, and welcome to the Parents forums here at Ballet Talk on Ballet Alert! Online! :wink:


The occupational hazards of boys in ballet aren't really different from the girls' problems - mostly tendinitis of various parts of the feet and ankles, Osgood-Schlatter Syndrome, and various knee problems, using from not using the turnout/rotation correctly. There are others, but these are the most frequently encountered. Others can be encountered, but they are usually non-ballet connected.

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:D The only injury suffered so far by DS was knee problems (at age 12), Osgoode Schlatter, due to a rapid growth spurt and unbalanced leg muscle strength. He was ended up taking modified classes for 8 weeks during recovery, no grand plies, no work on his knees on the floor etc. He went to physio and did his exercises faithfully at home, and now appears to be stronger than ever through his knees. He does complain of general soreness around hips and feet sometimes, but I think this is related to amount of dance classes and rehearals going on that week.


Mel - wouldn't you say, as boys get older and start to partner with lifts, that shoulder/back injuries would come into play??? Or would that only happen if the boy didn't have adequate strength or was using improper lifting technique??

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Would you have any experience with or wise words about a ham string injury? What would be the usual treatment , or the usual long term outcome of such an injury? Thanks.

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Just to update everyone, DS saw the Dr. on Friday and he gave him the green light to dance full out with a brace on. Upon looking at the x-ray the "break" is more like a "crinkle" in the bone. He goes back in 3 wks. for another picture and should be out of the brace by then. DS is so relieved, he is participating in YAGP this weekend.

Along the lines of hamstring injuries, I had a question about flexibility in males? Is it harder for them to achieve it, increase it and keep it? Are there gender specific excercises? I know that water intake also has an impact, but have a hard time convincing DS of this. What's your opinion?

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Wow! These are all good questions. Hope I can answer them! Firstoff, I haven't seen a lot of back injuries to teens and early twenties fellows - that comes later. What I have seen is a handful of shoulder injuries of various types (rotator cuff, subluxation, just plain sore), but what really seem to take the beating in partnering are the wrists and forearms. Hamstring injuries have to be handled like all basic first aids R.I.C.E. (d). That last (d) is for doctor. If the injury isn't too grievous, ordinary Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation should be enough. After seventy-two hour from the time of injury, you can substitute contrast baths for Ice. If that isn't providing sufficient relief, head for the doc. All the while, Over-The-Counter Anti-Inflammatory drugs may be given, following the label instruction on dosage to the letter. The usual outcome of the injury, after a return to class, is the status quo ante.


Now, as for flexibility, it generally arrives in boys ALL AT ONCE, in my observation. Usually sometime after the 16th birthday. It's tough, because the male hormones want to make the muscles bulky, and ballet tries to lengthen them, strengthen them and stretch them all at the same time! :rolleyes: There are no gender-specific stretches, just keep on keepin' on.

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Wow, Major Mel, my son is going to like hearing that about flexibility. He's always complaining he's not like the gumby girls, and has decided he's doomed to have splits only on one side. I've heard other parents of boys say about the same thing, about 15-16, and I wonder why that's so?


Anyway, I'm going to print it out for him and post it on the refrigerator. (It's odd how my boys like to practice in front of the refrigerator. I don't think it's just because of the nice floor!)

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cosprballet- Excellent that ds has only a "wrinkle" and is able to dance full out!


Major Mel is quite right about most of the injuries we see in our ds's are the same as or similar to those we see in our ds's!


If tendinitis is severely painful, PLEASE take the dk to the doctor. Often enough they prescribe doses of NSAI's (Advil, Aleve, etc.) that are way above what is on the bottle, but we should NEVER Ever decide on a dose above what is recommended on the bottle without a doctor's say-so!


Most of the male student injuries I've seen as well have been feet, knees and shins - I once read that on average a male ballet dancer does a million jumps per year which would account for the lower extremity injuries (the GREAT news is that young people USUALLY heel well and quickly!):D


I know of a few boys who have had stress fractures to their vertebrae in their mid to late teens (one I know well got his when he was 17 or 18 - they were the result of lifting a very very tall girl - and therefore heavy [even though she was THIN, just the bones and muscles on someone who is 6' on flat weigh a lot] - over and over and over again.)


The good news/bad news is that it took 3 doctors on 2 continents to actually diagnose the by-then-healed stress fractures. I think the young man was relieved that there was an actual reason for the PAIN (which by then had mostly subsided) and that really helped him cope.


One word of advice - too much weight repeatedly lifted by young men who are still growing can and does sometimes result in injury and for a lot of guys there is the "macho" issue - they don't want to tell the pas teacher that the girl is too heavy (because, depending on the teacher, they may be told in front of all their classmates and friends that the girl isn't too heavy, it is that they are too weak! OUCH!) - so rather than complaining they just keep repeating the lifts which sometimes result in injury. I have seen a fair number of professional dancers refuse to lift the women to whom they have been assigned as partners, because by then it is their careers and I suppose they don't worry so much about being macho (and of course we all recall the Russian ballerina who was fired late last year because of her weight!)

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