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Bunions in Dancers

Posted Mar 08 2010 10:09pm

Ballet DancerIt is commonly believed that dancing, specifically ballet dancing, causes bunions because of the great amount of stress placed on the great toe joint. A review of the radiographs of 63 active and 38 retired dancers showed no increase in the angles of the bones at the great toe joint compared to radiographs of the nondancers. Dancers may develop both slowly developing bunions and rapidly developing bunions. Arthritic bunions can occur in dancers and they are susceptible to developing secondary conditions, such as metatarsalgia , stress fractures , sesamoiditis and tendonitis .

A bunion is a structural change in the foot, which results in a deformity at the great toe joint. The 1st metatarsal moves towards the center line of the body and the great toe moves towards the small toes. The movement of these bones causes a bump to form at the inside of the great toe joint. There may be some bone growth or bone spurring at the great toe, but the bump is for the most part, due to the movement of the metatarsal bone. The movement of the bones typically occurs gradually over time in response to faulty foot mechanics, abnormal foot position, abnormal tendon pull or tight, narrow shoes. Acute bunion development is uncommon, but can occur with trauma. More on bunions .

Foot Ankle Int. 1995 Feb;16(2):92-4.
Clin Sports Med. 2008 Apr;27(2):321-8.

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