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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Uneven Knees


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I have Osgood-Schlatter in my right knee. I recently saw a physical therapist for my back (unrelated issue) and while she was assessing me, she told me that my right knee was not straightening all the way. I told her about the Osgood-Schlatter and she said that it is probably because of that. My fifth position with my left leg in front is really bad and hurts my right knee because my straight knee pushes against the bent one. I tighten both knees as hard as I can but that one knee just won't straighten. I really don't want to have to stop dancing, but I'm sick of being told (very loudly) to straighten my knee ten times per class. I told one of my teachers about my Osgood-Schlatter, but she scoffed and rolled her eyes at me and told me that there is no such thing as Osgood-Schlatter. What do you think i should do about both the teacher, and the knee? I know that you can't give medical advice, but I'm kind of desperate, since my dad (the parent I live with) kind of gave up with going to the doctor about my knee, so it wouldn't hurt to ask.

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There is definitely a condition called Osgood-Schlatter. It is usually related to growth in young athletes and dancers. When it is acting up, you have to stop, but when not bad then you might only have to stop impact work, which means all jumps, as well as relevés on pointe. Unless it is constantly painful, then it should not prevent straightening your knees, unless you are pushing too hard on the 5th position, for instance. Did your knee fully straighten prior to this condition acting up? Some people have knees that do not fully straighten, although usually that would be both knees, not just one.


As far as your teacher is concerned, after reading this post and the fact that you were placed on pointe after 7 months of ballet, my thought is that you need to seek a new school. A knowing teacher would not scoff at Osgood-Schlatter.


The good news is that you will probably outgrow it once your growth spurts are over, IF you don't further damage that knee by doing things that you should not be doing now.

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