A new study in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery evaluated overuse ankle injuries in eighteen professional Irish dancers. Each dancer filled out a foot and ankle questionnaire and the dancer’s right ankle was evaluated with an MRI. Only 16% of the ankles evaluated by MRI were considered radiologically normal. The most common radiographic observations reported were Achilles tendinopathy, plantar fasciitis, bone edema, and calcaneocuboid joint degeneration. There was very little correlation between the questionnaires, foot and ankle function and the findings on MRI, which means many of the conditions were sub-clinical.
The authors concluded that overuse ankle injuries are common in Irish dancers and many conditions develop and progress before they limit function and cause pain.