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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Achilles Tendon Questions


Guest haylee

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Guest bgeronimo

ms leigh,

 

rest, ice and elevation did wonders for my achilles tendon. however, i found the relief to be temporary. after 3 days, i had ballet class and afterwards, it hurt again. do i just keep resting, icing and elevating? should i stop ballet for a while? how long?

 

my teacher says im probably not warming up enough and the other says i might be sickling when i releve.

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Guest bgeronimo

also, my left knee hurts when i lock my knees, like when im standing. this started a couple of months ago. im pretty sure it's because of ballet though im not sure exactly what i did that caused it.

 

do you have any idea why this happens? what should i do now?

 

thanks.

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Mel Johnson

Bcg, there's a problem in the making anytime you LOCK your knees. But I'll bet this is also part of the residual bad effects of the concrete floor! There are several pieces of soft tissue in the knee that can go sour on you, the most often cited being the cruciate ligaments, anterior and posterior, and the menisci. All that you have is rest, ice, compression and elevation. It may take a week or more for things to come back to normal. You should consider taking that time off.

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Just a caution about the floors you work on - just because it's "raised" doesn't mean that it's cushioned or "sprung". A floor can be elevated and still be hard as a rock! Seems silly to build a floor this way but I've seen it done.

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Guest BrendaMc

I would just like to add that you can't be sure it's your achille's until you see a doctor. I had pain in both of my ankles whenever I pointed my feet and thought it was my tendons. Even my family doctor said it was my tendons. BUT - once I got to the orthopedist, I found out that it was really a bone/joint problem in my ankles. The tissue around my ankles were inflamed because my ankle bone was actually creating an impingement (pinching against my leg bone - tibia)whenever I stood on my toes. I never had this pain until about 4 years into ballet and it suddenly developed. It's still a mystery to me why I never experienced it earlier. I had to ice and elevate my ankles after dance class. I also had to take a break from dance to get it to heal. Now I'm fine.

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Guest bgeronimo

the ortho doctor says it is the tendons and that i have to lay off ballet for 2 weeks. he says my tendons are getting stressed because they are not as strong as they used to be. also, i have to warm up more.

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Victoria Leigh

Haylee, I think you mean échappés, which are simply relevés to second/fifth or fourth/fifth, so, no, it should not make a difference. The difference might be that you are referring to just rising on pointe when it doesn't hurt, like doing an elevé, and not a spring to point, like a relevé or an échappé.

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  • 10 months later...

ok, I do not if this shud belong to this forum. I have been dancing on pointe since 1985, and suffer from chronic Achilles tendonitis since, say, 1988. Yesterday i consulted a sports doctor specialist, because BOTH my Achilles tendons were hurting, and he said: "oh, the tendon is rather thin, we may have to operate it". He orderered a ecography of the tendon, so as to see if it was intact or not, and only after that he cud be sure what to do next. He told me to keep dancing, but taking it easier, to take antinflammatories, to ice it after class, and ordered some physio.

 

He explained that the operation consisted in sort of enveloping the tendon with something (i really cud not ask more, because he was sort of in a hurry). I am so scared!!!

 

I would like to know if someone knows if it wud be possible to dance after an operation like that, or of dancers who have undergone such type of operation who resumed their careers.

 

thank you!!!

 

 

silvy

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Victoria Leigh

Silvy, without knowing the final results of your tests, I cannot say for sure, however I would certainly recommend a second opinion before undergoing this surgery. If the tendon is broken, it must be repaired surgically. If it is not broken, it may be possible for it to heal with a period of immobilization. I would not want to have surgery unless it is absolutely essential.

 

Many dancers have undergone this surgery and danced again, and I am one of them. I had problems in both tendons. One healed with rest and immobilization, the other one eventually broke and had to be repaired surgically. However, I feel that the one that broke was damaged from cortisone injections over a period of time, which caused the fibers of the tendon to fray until they eventually broke completely. The achilles is a very strong tendon, even if it is thin, as mine was. It can heal, I think, without surgery, however you cannot keep dancing and expect it to heal. There must be a prolonged period of complete rest, and the best way of doing that is to immobilize it.

 

Let me know what the tests showed, and then what this doctor is recommending. But do not rush into surgery unless it is broken! Get a second doctor's opinion, and maybe a third!

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Dear Ms Leigh:

 

thank you for your reply - I will have the test done tomorrow, and we shall see. this doctor is quite famed, as he treates football players of one of our national football teams, but i am scared all the same!!!

 

thank you again

silvy

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to ms Leigh:

 

I wonder what type of shanks for pointe shoe is most recommended when you have tendon problems. I always prefer soft shoes, to be myself who does the job, not the shoes, but I wonder if that is good or not for these type of foot problem. Maybe I am doing harm to myself without knowing it

 

 

silvy

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Victoria Leigh

Actually, silvy, no pointe shoes are recommended when you have achilles tendon problems that are serious. Tendons which are strained and hurting will not get better as long as the same strain is continued. The only way to stop it is to give it time to heal. If you have to have surgery you will have to stop for a much longer time. :rolleyes:

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to ms Leigh:

 

I am giving you an update on my condition, as you were so nice as to want to be informed about it.

 

Last Friday I finally had the ecography done, and I am most confused than ever!!!! The doctor who performed it said the following:

 

- that the Achilles tendon which was thin (LEFT foot, which MY doctor thought he might have to operate) was OK, but that I had bursitis (the sack between my Achilles and calcaneus bone was inflamed to almost double its normal size), which he said it cud cause the pain in my Achilles.

 

- that he was suprised that my doctor had indicated the ecography on my LEFT foot, because he noticed that the RIGHT Achilles was THICK. This was confirmed by the ecography, and he added that this might indicate a tendonitis process.

 

I will see my doctor next week, i am icing BOTH feet and taking physio

 

thanks!!!

 

(confused) silvy

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Victoria Leigh

Thank you for the update, Silvy. It is good news that it is Bursitis, actually, as that is usually much easier treated than achilles tendinitis. As to the other tendon, I'm not sure what that means, but if there is tendinitis there, then it will definitely require a great deal of rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication. Beware of a doctor who is too quick to recommend surgery, however. Explore everything else first.

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