What Are The Most Common Foot Problems In White Plains Dancers?
Posted by Jenn F. on Wednesday, January 11th, 2017
Dancing is a popular athletic activity in White Plains, New York. We are blessed with so many of the best NYC dance studios in our backyard — Arthur Murray Dance School, City Center Dance, and Steffi Nossen, to name a few. Dancing requires the utmost strength and a tremendous amount of dedication, but sometimes the long hours of practice and rigorous activity lead to injury. It’s good to have a foot and ankle specialist as your ally in these cases. We are fully equipped to diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate any lower extremity injury with the latest technology and techniques. We treat the root cause of the problem, not just the symptoms, and believe in the importance of patient education and injury prevention as part of the individualized care we deliver.
Peroneal Tendinitis in Dancers
The peroneal tendons run along the outside of the ankle just below the bony protrusion of the fibula. The primary function of these soft tissues is to connect muscle to bone and relieve some of the force traveling across the joint. The more exertion the tendon faces, the greater the likelihood the tendon will become inflamed, enlarged, and thickened. Sometimes the tendon will actually begin to tear.
Symptoms of peroneal tendinitis include pain, tenderness, and/or swelling under the outer ankle bone or sometimes down further into the foot along the fifth metatarsal bone. Usually, it’s more of a dull ache than a shooting pain. Standing or pushing gently on the injured area may not be excruciating, but bearing weight and engaging in physical activity can cause a flare up.
We see tendinitis in runners and dancers quite often, but we don’t believe it’s inevitable. Risk factors like slightly inward-turning heels (“hindfoot varus posture”) make a person more likely to strain their peroneal tendons. Wearing old, worn-out shoes can also cause the tendons to work harder. Structural weaknesses in the posterior tibial tendon can burden the peroneal tendons as well.
Our treatment programs may involve:
- Elastic band exercises to strengthen the foot and ankle
- Proprioception/balance training to strengthen the foot and ankle
- Custom orthotics to correct structural abnormalities
- Stabilization with a CAM walker boot to allow for healing
- Platelet rich plasma injections to prompt natural healing processes
Very rarely is tendon surgery required to re-section a severely damaged tendon, but we have board-certified podiatric surgeons on staff who can care for your injury any way possible. Even without surgery, it could take six weeks before you are able to resume weight-bearing and get back to dance training again.
Cuboid Syndrome in Dancers
The cuboid bone is located on the outside of the foot, where the heel attaches to the small, triangular cunieform bones that connect to the long metatarsals. This small bone attaches to the heel by a series of strong ligaments and a joint capsule. Cuboid syndrome occurs when these vital support structures become worn and damaged, allowing the bone to shift out of place.
Dancers with cuboid syndrome report pain and weakness in the foot, especially during side-to-side or push-off motions. Weight-bearing, hopping and inversion/eversion movements at the mid-foot worsen the pain. Symptoms may abate with rest.
The pointing and jumping movements of ballet, in particular, put patients at risk for cuboid syndrome. It’s believed cuboid syndrome accounts for roughly 17% of ballet dance injuries. Many sufferers are also found to have overpronated, flat feet.
Cuboid syndrome often develops following a traumatic event such as an ankle sprain. One study found 25% of heel spur surgery patients went on to develop cuboid syndrome within a month — particularly those who were encouraged to “get back to physical activity” quicker.
Treatment of cuboid syndrome among White Plains dancers may include:
- Kinesio taping for immobilization
- Cryotherapy for pain relief
- Ultrasound for pain relief
- Electrical stimulation for pain relief
- Physical manipulation for correction
- Therapeutic massage for correction and pain relief
- Custom orthotics to offload pressure
- Immobilization to offload pressure
- Cuboid padding for prevention of re-injury
- Strengthening exercises for the gastrocnemius, soleus, hamstring and peroneus longus to prevent recurrence
Find A White Plains Foot Doctor Who Understands Dance Injuries
If you or your child has recently suffered a White Plains dance injury, you are probably wondering when the recovery will ever end. Call the office to book a consultation with one of our White Plains foot and ankle specialists for assistance with diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation.
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.