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Ballet Talk for Dancers
HarfordDanceMom

Possible Injury and Whether to dance or not....

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HarfordDanceMom

We saw an Orthopedic who ordered an MRI for DD's lower back pain and tight hamstrings. It turns out she has a genetic anomaly where her Lumbar and Sacrum join, but the Radiologist suggested a possible stress fracture as well. The Orthopedic has referred us out to a spine specialist, but they can not see us until July 18th, well into her summer intensive at Washington Ballet. The genetic anomaly can be causing the symptoms and, if that is the case, we would manage the pain and strengthen core. If it is a stress fracture, her physical therapist said it could entail bracing or rest from dance for an extended period. She has already been sitting out for 2 weeks until the MRI came back, but now we either return to dance until we see the spine specialist, or ask the physical therapist to write her a note to refrain from dance or modify.

Has anyone dealt with an L5 stress fracture? Did the doctor prescribe a brace? Rest? How long?

Has anyone attended a summer intensive with an injury that required significant modifications?

I am trying to decide whether or not to let her go or keep her home...We have 2 1/2 weeks!! I am freaking out a little.

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Momof3darlings

Since we no longer have the Medical forum, no one is to advise you on the injury here at all.  Your best advice and wisdom will come from her Dr.  

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Eligus

No medical advice, just a cyber hug for and empathy with the pressure of decisions to be made, and medical worries to juggle...  And I'll remind you that you can only make the best decision you can with the information you have in the time you're allotted.  I hope you find some clarity and peace soon.

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BalletFamily

Sometimes you can request a consultation for someone else to read the MRI.  The radiologist who already read it is looking for broad things and not focusing on one particular diagnosis.  You can ask your ortho to get a consult to determine if the MRI shows a fracture (or anything else that would require her to skip the SI).  I've done this with an MRI before (completely unrelated circumstances) and I never even met the consulting doctor.  It's even possible the spine specialist you already have the appt with would be willing to do it.  IME, it has to be ordered by a doctor, not something you ask for directly.  I hope your ortho can offer you some answers, at least to get you through the summer.

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lemlemish

Has the orthopedist already reviewed the MRI or they just ordered it and then gave referral for spinal specialist? I would contact the spine specialist's office directly, explain the situation and ask if they can review the MRI earlier than your scheduled appt.  If they are not able to fit you in or review it and contact you, then I would ask the ortho. It's also possible that Wash Ballet can get you in to see an ortho that specializes in dance medicine. 

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Noodles

I am going to echo what has already been said...you have to have the MRI read before proceeding with dance.  I wish you the very best of luck! Stress fractures are no joke and not to be taken lightly.

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workmail

I am a family doctor and only speaking from a logistics standpoint - can you get a primary care or urgent care to order the MRI and have it read sooner. The report should say whether there is a stress fracture. You could still follow up with the ortho for ongoing spinal issues as planned. That is a ridiculous amount of time to wait for needed care. 

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bluemountain

Can you find another specialist who can see DD sooner? It's very important to be seen prior to SI. If you are not too far away from Boston Children's Hospital I would suggest their Sports Medicine Department, they are dealing with ballet kids all the time.

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dancemaven

I have been treated for a possible sacral fracture.  The time frame I have been given for restricted types of activities is 6 weeks.  One of those restrictions is not doing anything one-legged.  That’s just a general reference for you.  

Therefore, I would agree that it would be important that you get a confirmation of whether there is a fracture and what your DD can and cannot do prior to her going off to the SI.

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HarfordDanceMom

Thank you everyone! I was told we would hear back from the Spine Specialist with an appointment within 72 hours of reviewing our case, but tomorrow is Friday, so it might not even be until Monday. The scheduler said sometimes he with double book or have his PA do a consult in urgent cases. Hopefully, we can get some sort of answer soon. Her Physical Therapist said if she has to do the note for restrictions it will no Port a Bra, No Jumps, Legs under 45 degrees so on, but that she will also ask around to the Orthos she works with. We called several, and it seems they are all scheduling into late July or even August. I have given myself a week to get answers or get a note from her Primary care doctor to send to the intensive to withdraw. She is disappointing but very realistic about healing.

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HarfordDanceMom

Workmail,

We have had the MRI and it says "suspected Pars Defect" recommending a certain kind of x-ray or CT to verify stability in the spine.

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HarfordDanceMom

lemlemish, I did leave a note about our situation with her case packet that the spine specialist will review. The original Peds Ortho that ordered the MRI said she was not familiar enough with the specific genetic anomaly she has to interpret the MRI and then sent it to the specialist, and basically said she isn't going to touch it.

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5678StarMom

DD had a different injury last year (stress fracture in her foot that was part of a greater injury cycle), and her attending SI could have gone either way. Technically she was released to activity the same week her SI started, but she hadn't danced in over 2 months at that point. We chose not to push it too hard or fast and had her diagnosis explained in a letter from the doctor and we also explained further to the SI how her multiple injury issues last year led to concerns about if she would be able to dance at anywhere close to her potential. For my DD, gaining strength back at home in a less competitive environment was the right choice, she looks better than ever now. A plus as well is that the SI did refund us all of our money due to the doctors note, which we didn't expect but were grateful for due to the many bills that came with MRIs, specialists, etc.

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