Torn MCL Average Recovery Time


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

Can Surgery Help Your Knee Arthritis?


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

Osgood-Schlatter Disease in Children


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

4 Things to Know About Meniscus Repair

Article featured on Noyes Knee Institute

Injuries to the meniscus are common, especially among athletes and individuals involved in physical activities. Pain, inflammation, and restricted mobility can result from torn or injured meniscus. Here are four things to know about meniscus repair:

1. The Importance of Early Diagnosis

Early diagnosis of a meniscus tear results in prompt and effective treatment. If left untreated, meniscus tears can worsen over time, leading to more significant pain and potential damage to the knee joint. As soon as symptoms like knee pain, swelling, and limited range of motion arise, consult an orthopedic knee surgeon for a thorough evaluation.

An early diagnosis allows the knee surgeon to recommend appropriate treatment options, including conservative measures like rest, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications. In some cases, meniscus repair surgery may be the best course of action to restore knee function.

2. Meniscus Repair Surgery

Orthopedic knee surgeons perform meniscus repair surgery to mend the torn meniscus tissue and restore knee stability. The surgery can be done through minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques involving small incisions and a tiny camera called an arthroscope that guides the surgeon’s instruments.

During the surgery, the surgeon will carefully suture the torn edges of the meniscus together. This allows the tissue to heal and regain its strength. The success of meniscus repair largely depends on the type and location of the tear, as well as the patient’s age and overall knee health.

3. Rehabilitation and Recovery

Following meniscus repair surgery, a comprehensive rehabilitation program is recommended to promote healing and regain knee function. Orthopedic surgeons work closely with physical therapists to design a personalized rehabilitation plan for each patient.

Rehabilitation typically involves exercises to improve knee strength, flexibility, and stability. Patients are advised to diligently follow their physical therapy regimen and avoid activities that may strain the healing meniscus excessively. The recovery period after meniscus repair surgery varies from patient to patient. While some individuals may resume light activities within a few weeks, others may require several months to recover fully and return to more vigorous activities.

4. Complication Awareness

If the medial meniscus has been destroyed, the only treatment is to remove the damaged portions and repair the remaining area. As with any surgical procedure, meniscus repair surgery carries some risks and potential complications. Infection, blood clots, and adverse reactions to anesthesia are possible but rare. Patients are encouraged to discuss any concerns or medical conditions with their orthopedic knee surgeon before the procedure.

In some cases, meniscus tears may be too severe or located in a region with limited blood supply, making repair surgery unfeasible. The surgeon may opt for a meniscectomy, a procedure to trim and remove the damaged portion of the meniscus. While a meniscectomy provides symptom relief, it may also increase the risk of early-onset osteoarthritis in the knee joint.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

What Are the Red Flags for Knee Pain

Article featured on The Noyes Knee Institute

Knee pain can result from overexertion, injury, or medical conditions like arthritis. This pain hinders daily activities like walking, decreasing your overall productivity. At Noyes Knee Institute, we’ll treat your knee pain to improve your quality of life. Here are some red flags that necessitate seeing an orthopedic knee surgeon:

Sudden Severe Pain

Sudden severe pain with no apparent cause can indicate a serious knee injury. This could include a meniscus tear, torn ligament, fractured bone, or a dislocated kneecap. Seek immediate professional help if the sudden severe pin limits your movement or ability to bear weight on the affected knee.

At Noyes Knee Institute, we have decades of experience helping patients with severe knee pain. We’ll identify the root cause of your pain and create a personalized treatment plan to get you back to your active lifestyle.

Buckling of the Knee

Knee buckling may signal instability in the knee joint or a ligament tear. Ligament tears like anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears can make the knee unstable. This results in a sensation of the knee giving way during weight-bearing activities.

At Noyes Knee Institute, we’ll ask questions about the buckling sensation and order imaging tests to determine if you have a torn ACL. We have a 95% rehabilitation success rate, having conducted over 5,000 ACL reconstruction surgeries. You’ll be in safe hands if you need ACL reconstruction surgery.

Swelling and Warmth

Swelling and warmth around the knee joint can indicate an inflammatory condition like arthritis or an infection. Inflammation can cause the knee joint to become painful and warm to the touch. Sometimes the swelling may be accompanied by a limited range of motion and joint stiffness.

At Noyes Knee Institute, we’ll determine the root cause of the swelling by conducting a physical examination and ordering blood tests. The examination allows us to determine whether your range of motion has been affected. Blood tests will enable us to identify underlying systemic conditions like infections or rheumatoid arthritis.

Knee Locking

Healthy knees are flexible. You should be able to rotate your knees slightly and bend them up and down. Their flexibility allows you to perform daily living activities like standing and sitting. If you can’t, you may be dealing with a locked knee.

Locked knees fall into two categories: true-locked knee and pseudo-locked knee. You can’t move your knee in any direction with a true-locked knee. A pseudo-locked knee occurs when pain in the knee joint is too severe to move the knee. True-locked knees can occur because of limited blood supply to the knees. Pseudo-locked knees can occur because of a tear in the ligament cushioning the knee joint, knee joint dislocation, or fractures.

At Noyes Knee Institute, we’ll conduct imaging tests like MRIs and CT scans to determine whether you have a true or pseudo-locked knee. Our orthopedic knee surgeon, Dr. Noyes, may recommend surgery to remove the obstruction limiting blood supply in the knee joints if our tests determine that you have a true-locked knee. If you have a pseudo-locked knee, we’ll recommend conservative treatments like activity modification and medication.

Persistent Pain

Persistent knee pain that doesn’t improve with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) or doctor-prescribed conservative treatments like pain medications can signal a serious underlying condition. Seek professional help if your pain progresses over time to find an effective solution.

At Noyes Knee Institute, we’ll conduct a joint aspiration to understand your condition. This involves removing a fluid sample from the knee joint to determine if there’s an infection, inflammation, or other underlying condition before recommending treatment.

Consistent Knee Pain After Surgery

It’s normal for patients to feel knee pain for a few weeks after surgery. The pain should wear off as your knee heals. Your surgery may have failed if you continue experiencing pain, swelling, and bruising around your knee months after surgery. This calls for revision surgery.

At Noyes Knee Institute, we only use grafts from FDA-approved tissue banks for our surgeries and take patients through an active rehabilitation program after their procedures. This, combined with Dr. Noyes’s expertise in orthopedic surgery, improves your chances of having a successful revision surgery.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

Joints That Are Most Commonly Affected by Arthritis

Article featured on Healthgrades

Arthritis is a long-term (chronic) condition that causes joint inflammation. When you’re living with arthritis, a simple task, such as tying your shoe or buttoning your shirt can become a challenging one. Not only does the swelling and aching interfere with work and daily living activities, it can also be painful and sometimes debilitating.

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, but the most common include rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease) and osteoarthritis (a “wear-and-tear” condition related to aging, injury or obesity). Both cause joint stiffness, pain and decreased range of motion, and can affect many different joints throughout the body.

1. Knee

The knee is one of the most common joints affected by osteoarthritis. This happens when there’s a breakdown of cartilage, which cushions the ends of the bones where they meet the joints. Symptoms of knee arthritis include stiffness, swelling, and pain, which can make it hard to walk and get in and out of chairs and bed. In severe cases, osteoarthritis in the knees can lead to disability.

2. Hand

When you have arthritis in your hands, it usually includes aching, stiffness or numbness in the fingers or at the base of the thumb joint, making it difficult to pinch or grip items. Small, bony knobs may appear on the middle or end joints (those closest to the fingernails) of the fingers, which can become enlarged and gnarled. This type of arthritis in the hands seems to run in families.

3. Hip

The hip is also a common arthritis site. You may have pain and stiffness in your hip joint, but some people also notice pain in the groin, buttocks, lower back, or front or inner thigh. Or they may have pain in only one of these areas. This type of hip arthritis can affect your ability to move or bend, and make daily activities a challenge.

4. Spine, Neck and Back

Arthritis in the spine usually results in stiffness and pain in the neck or lower back, but in some cases, it may not lead to any pain at all. Arthritis changes can also cause pressure on the nerves where they exit the spinal column, leading to weakness, tingling or numbness of the arms and legs. Since these symptoms can often seem like other health conditions, always check with your doctor for a diagnosis.

5. Foot and Ankle

Arthritis can also cause swelling and pain in the foot and ankle. It most often affects the joint at the base of the big toe, which can make walking difficult. The swelling can also lead to bunions on the toes, which can sometimes make the pain and deformity of the foot worse. With rheumatoid arthritis, the same joints on both sides of the body (such as both feet or both ankles) are usually affected.

6. Elbow

Joint inflammation can also be to blame for elbow pain or loss of function. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the elbow, and if one elbow is affected, the other likely will be, too. While elbow osteoarthritis is more common in weight-bearing joints, such as the knee and hip, it can also occur in the elbow, and is often the result of overuse or an injury, such as in the case of a tennis or baseball player.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

What is Knock Knees?

 Article featured on Nationwide Childrens’
Genu valgum (knock-knees) is a common lower leg abnormality that is usually seen in the toddler, preschool and early school age child. In genu valgum, the lower extremities turn inward, causing the appearance of the knees to be touching while the ankles remain apart. Knock knees usually is first seen in late toddlerhood. Often parents may have noticed the knees bowing out (genu varum) when the child first started walking but by age 3, the child has developed knock knees. Genu valgum is most severe by age 3 but then usually resolves on its own by age 7-8. Knock knees are slightly more common in girls than boys.

Types of Knock Knees (Genu Valgum)

  • Physiologic (normal growth and development) variant (MOST COMMON)
  • Pathologic
    • Rickets
    • Previous metaphyseal (shaft) fracture of the proximal tibia or sometimes called “Cozen’s Phenomenon”
    • Multiple epiphyseal dysplasia (bone and cartilage disorder affecting ends of leg bones)

Clinical Findings

While standing, the child’s knees will touch or be closer together then the ankles which are further apart.

Diagnostic Studies

No x-rays or other imaging studies are done to diagnosis physiologic genu valgum.

What Is the Treatment for Knocks Knees (Genu Valgum)?

No special type of brace, shoes, or other orthotic devices has been found to improve or speed up the resolution of knock-knees. The only treatment for genu valgum is time and normal growth and development.

Majority of children with genu valgum resolve on their own but if the knock-knees increase in severity or does not improve by age 10, then further evaluation and testing may be warranted.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

What is a Torn MCL Recovery Time?

Article featured on Summit Orthopedics

MCL stands for medial collateral ligament. It’s a ligament on the inside of the knee. Like all ligaments, the MCL is a strong, tough band of tissue that connects one bone to another bone.

What is an MCL tear?

Although an MCL tear can happen to anyone, athletes are most at risk. It can happen when an athlete suddenly twists or changes direction. It can also happen when something hits the athlete’s knee. Sports like football, basketball, rugby, volleyball, and skiing can result in MCL tears. MCL tears are the most common knee ligament injury.

MCL tears are classified as “partial” or “complete.” In a partial MCL tear, the ligament has torn partway, but some of the ligament’s fibers remain attached. In a complete tear, the ligament has snapped, fully separating into two pieces.

What are the symptoms of an MCL tear?

Symptoms of an MCL tear include:

  • Pain and tenderness in the knee
  • Stiffness and swelling in the knee
  • A feeling of instability, as if your knee might give out

What is a torn MCL treatment and recovery time?

If you suspect you’ve torn or damaged your MCL, the first thing to do is to get it evaluated by an orthopedic specialist. Your provider will conduct a physical exam and may order imaging tests, like an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI, to confirm the diagnosis.

Surgery is not always required, and in fact, many people recover from a torn MCL with conservative measures. Treatment options for a torn MCL include:

  • RICE, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation, is a cornerstone of conservative care for an MCL injury.
  • Devices to help immobilize your knee, like a knee brace, and devices to keep your weight off the knee, like crutches. Whether you need to use these depends on how severe your injury is, so talk with your provider for specific recommendations.
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines, like ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) to help with the swelling and inflammation after the injury.
  • Physical therapy — anyone can benefit from physical therapy after a knee injury, including an MCL tear. If you’re an athlete who wants to heal fully after an MCL tear and return to your full strength in your sport, physical therapy is essential. It can make the difference between long-term stiffness or instability and a full return to your former strength, agility, and flexibility.

MCL tear recovery time varies depending on how severe the tear is and whether or not you had surgery to repair the tear:

  • Minor MCL tears can heal in one to three weeks.
  • More severe MCL tears can take six weeks to heal, and some can take longer.
  • If you have MCL surgery, you can expect to need eight to 16 weeks to heal completely.

Your specific recovery time will depend on your unique injury.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

Painful Knee Caps: What Causes Them?

Article featured on The Noyes Knee Institute

Pain in the knee caps (patella) is caused by several factors, ranging from old age and overuse to injury and infection. A strenuous activity during the day can cause mild discomfort around the knee, which heals with rest and sleep. Knee cap pain can also be persistent and chronic, calling for the services of an experienced orthopedic knee surgeon. Here’s an overview of the five leading causes of knee cap pain:

1. Knee Overuse

The patella is a knee joint bone structure that suffers wear and tear. Your knee supports walking, jogging, running, jumping, kneeling, and squatting. Straining the knee joint through overuse can result in pain and discomfort around the patella. Knee cap pain resulting from overuse may stop if the strenuous activity is ceased or moderated. Other cases trigger a degenerative process with intermittent and worsening pain.

2. Knee Injury

The knee cap protects the rest of the knee joint structures, including ligaments, cartilages, and muscles. A traumatic blow to the front of the knee area is likely to hurt the patella first, resulting in severe pain. A knee injury can result from falling, participation in sports, a car crash, or other situation strenuous situations. Pain from injury may go away with functional medicine and physical therapy, but occasionally requires knee surgery to repair the damage.

3. Chondromalacia Patellae

Knee cap pain can stem from Chondromalacia, a condition in which the cartilage found behind the patella softens. Normal cartilage is tough and flexible to protect the ends of the joint bones from rubbing on each other. When the cartilage becomes soft, the shinbone and thighbone can move too close to each other or even touch. Chondromalacia weakens cushioning and shock absorption capabilities, resulting in pain around the knee joint, including the patella. With rest and treatment, this condition can heal.

4. Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFS)

PFS or runner’s knee is a widespread condition highlighted by pain behind the knee cap area. It develops when the knee joint moves abruptly. PFS also results from knee overuse through running, cycling, climbing, and other strenuous activities. Pain levels vary from mild to severe and are felt around the front of the knee (patella). Runner’s knee is common among athletes and starts as dull recurring pain. This condition is reversible.

5. Muscle Imbalances & Tendonitis

The knee joint relies on the thigh, hip, and knee muscles, which work in tandem to ensure proper movement and support. Injury or imbalance can result in the wrong movements and reflexes, causing pain and inflammation. Conditions like tendonitis inflame the patellar tendons and quadriceps tendons, causing stiffness, tenderness, swelling, and knee pain. Injury, disease, or infection on one of the connected muscles and tendons can cause pain.

Working With a Trusted Orthopedic Knee Surgeon

Knee cap pain can be reversed with rest and sleep, but some conditions are severe and require proper medical attention. Others will need a corrective operation from a licensed orthopedic knee surgeon.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

Common Dance Injuries and Prevention Tips

Article featured on Johns Hopkins Medicine

Dance may look effortless, but it requires a lot of strength, flexibility and stamina. It also comes with a high risk of injuries. Whether you are a dancer, the parent of a dancer or a dance teacher, you should be aware of the most common dance injuries and learn how to avoid them.

Johns Hopkins performing arts physical therapists Andrea Lasner and Amanda Greene share valuable information about dance injury treatments and prevention tips. Lasner and Greene, both dancers, have turned their love for the art into a means of helping injured dancers.

What are some common dance injuries?

A few studies that looked into dance injuries found that injuries from using your joints and muscles too much (overuse injuries) are the most common in dancers. The majority of these overuse injuries involve an ankle, leg, foot or lower back. Some common dance injuries are:

  • Hip injuries: snapping hip syndrome, hip impingement, labral tears, hip flexor tendonitis, hip bursitis and sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • Foot and ankle injuries: Achilles tendonitis, trigger toe and ankle impingement
  • Knee injuries: patellofemoral pain syndrome
  • Stress fractures: metatarsals, tibia, sesamoids and lumbar spine
  • Dancers are also likely to develop arthritis in the knee, hip, ankle and foot

Generally, dancers have a much lower rate of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries than other athletes. One explanation could be that dance training involves much more intense jumping from an earlier age than other sports, which helps improve muscle control.

How do I know if the pain is from an injury?

In most cases, the pain you experience after dancing is muscle soreness that usually subsides within 24 to 48 hours. Sometimes, it takes a few days for muscles to get sore, which is also normal. However, if you experience the following types of pain, you may have suffered an injury:

  • Pain that wakes you up at night
  • Pain that is present at the start of an activity
  • Pain that increases with an activity
  • Pain that makes you shift your weight or otherwise compensate your movements

If you experience such pain, consult with a medical specialist — preferably a physical therapist or physician with experience in treating dancers. They will be able to determine whether additional testing is needed and will formulate an appropriate treatment plan.

Why do dance injuries happen?

Dance is a physically demanding activity. Dancers perform repetitive movements for several hours a day. Studies have shown that dancing five hours a day or longer leads to an increased risk of stress fractures and other injuries.

On top of the intensive training, many dancers get little time to recover between the sessions and have no “offseason.” Restrictive diets and unhealthy body weights may also contribute to dance injuries. Proper nutrition is important for dancers of all ages.

How do dancers get ankle sprains?

Ankle sprains are the number one traumatic injury in dancers. Traumatic injuries are different from overuse injuries as they happen unexpectedly. When an ankle is sprained, ligaments on the inside or outside of your foot get twisted or overstretched and may experience tears. Ankle sprains often happen due to improper landing from a jump, misaligned ankles (when they roll in or out) or poorly fitted shoes. Torn ligaments never heal to their preinjury condition. Once you’ve sprained your ankle, you are at risk of doing it again. It’s important to build muscle strength to prevent further injuries.

Dance Injury Prevention

How can dance injuries be prevented?

The majority of overuse injuries and even some traumatic dance injuries can be prevented. Follow these guidelines to reduce your risk of injury:

  • Eat well and stay hydrated before, during and after class.
  • Get enough rest and avoid overtraining.
  • Do cross-training exercises to build strength and endurance in all parts of your body.
  • Always wear proper shoes and attire.
  • Always warm-up before training or performances.
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle and get to know your body.

When injuries happen, address them immediately and get advice from a doctor or physical therapist.

What are good cross-training exercises for dancers?

Core and hip strengthening exercises like Pilates and stability-based yoga are great for dancers. And so are aerobic and cardiovascular activities, such as running, swimming or biking. They get your heart rate up and help build stamina for long performances.

Many dancers don’t do enough cardio during their regular training. Just 30 minutes three to four times a week is usually enough to improve your endurance. As always, do this in moderation and in short intervals to avoid stressing your joints. Being screened by a physical therapist with experience treating dancers will help you identify individual areas of weakness to address with specific exercises.

How much rest should a dancer get?

While many experts stress the importance of proper rest, there are no specific guidelines on the frequency and amount of rest. However, we know that dancing five hours a day or longer is linked to an increased risk of injury. It is also known that intense activity leads to microdamage, which peaks in recovery 12 to 14 hours after a workout. So it would make sense to take the next day off after a high-intensity activity. Dancers should work at their highest intensity a couple of times per week and then take at least two days off, preferably in a row. Also, a three- to four-week period of rest after the season is ideal for recovery.

Dance Injury Treatment

Should I ice or heat after a dance injury?

If it’s a sudden injury, it’s best to apply ice first to reduce swelling and inflammation. RICE treatment is a common approach that involves rest, ice, compression and elevation. After a few days, you can switch to heat to increase blood flow to the area and promote healing. However, every person is different. If you feel that ice helps you better than heat, then there is nothing wrong with continuing to ice. But be careful not to ice before dancing or stretching, because you want those muscles to be warmed up to prevent re-injury.

What are my treatment options for a dance injury?

It depends on the type of injury, your level as a dancer and many other factors. For example, for traumatic injuries like ankle sprains, your doctor may recommend RICE, joint protection and physical therapy. For stress fractures you may need to limit weight on your foot by using crutches, wearing a leg brace or walking boots. Surgery is typically used as the last resort. It is best to discuss your treatment options with a doctor who specializes in dance injuries. And if you are working with a physical therapist, make sure he or she is experienced in treating dancers. A big part of physical therapy is correcting the training technique that led to the injury. Otherwise, you risk hurting yourself again by making the same mistake.

What should be in the first aid kit for dance injuries?

Your regular first aid kit might already have many of the essentials for handling a medical emergency. However, when it comes to common dance injuries, you may want to include a few additional items, such as:

  • Instant cold pack
  • Pre-wrap and athletic tape (if qualified providers are available to apply)
  • Elastic bandages (to be used only for compression, not support while dancing)
  • Crutches
  • Topical pain reliever

The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm