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KKDanceMom

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Reply with quote  #1 
Has anyone had this experience with their dancer? Did you completely pull her/him out of dance? Did it heal in four weeks?
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heather44

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Reply with quote  #2 
Sorry to hear. A ten year old in my daughter's dance classes was recently diagnosed with this type of spinal fracture. She is not allowed to dance anymore, ever. 
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dancer456

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I doubt that her doctor told her she is not allowed to ever dance again.  Even in a the most severe cases when a fusion is necessary, you can still recover enough to dance .... However, she may be limited in the amount of hyperextension she can do with her back.


http://www.aapmr.org/patients/conditions/msk/spine/Pages/parsstressfracture.aspx
http://www.hss.edu/conditions_spondylolysis-pars-fracture-spine.asp
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/24/isaac-hernandez-ballet-mexico_n_1827287.html
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heather44

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dancer456
I doubt that her doctor told her she is not allowed to ever dance again.  Even in a the most severe cases when a fusion is necessary, you can still recover enough to dance .... However, she may be limited in the amount of hyperextension she can do with her back.


http://www.aapmr.org/patients/conditions/msk/spine/Pages/parsstressfracture.aspx
http://www.hss.edu/conditions_spondylolysis-pars-fracture-spine.asp
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/24/isaac-hernandez-ballet-mexico_n_1827287.html


That is good news, but unfortunately that was not the situation for the girl at our studio. 
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KKDanceMom

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Reply with quote  #5 
My daughter has been out for three weeks and still in pain... It is not looking good. She is going into a brace tomorrow. We really hope this works! She is miserable without dance.
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lovetowatch

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I suspect that my dd may have a pars fracture.  She had x-rays done but they were from the front not the side.  On the report it even said "cannot rule out pars defect".  At the time I hadn't researched it enough so I didn't know what that meant.  In the meantime, I am coming to suspect that that is what she has.  Her pain started before Thanksgiving.  She had the x-rays in January, after which the doctor recommended physical therapy.  She finished physical therapy at the end of March with improvement but still pain just in the middle (it used to be on the side), mainly just when her leg is exteded to the back.  If it is a stress fracture, it seems to be healing since her pain has lessened, though it has taken much longer than I would have expected (of course she hasn't quit dancing, just slowed down quite a bit).  Was your dd's fracture diagnosed with an x-ray?
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KKDanceMom

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Reply with quote  #7 
My daughter was diagnosed with "dog collar" appearance on x-ray followed by a nuclear bone scan. I really believed she would be much better by now
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KKDanceMom

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Reply with quote  #8 
DD14 is still out of dance after 6 weeks! She has been in a brace for three weeks and the pain is becoming less frequent, but still occurs daily. Dance is her life and she normally dances 25+ hours per week, so she is an emotional wreck not dancing. I am just praying that she will be able to come back for nationals! If anyone has experience or suggestions we would appreciate feedback. She is seeing an orthopedic physician that specializes in dancers and professional athletes, but the waiting is really frustrating!
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JulieDB

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Two years ago my daughter had what we were told was a near stress fracture to the L5 (lumbar/lower back).  Turns out now that it was a full on stress fracture as shown by an X Ray.  Sadly she could not be in the recital.  This was discovered two weeks prior to recital, but the initial pain was first noticed in March or April.  She had been dancing the entire time!

She also had to take the summer off, begin physical therapy once her brace was off, and resume dance slowly with limitations for a few months.  There have been others with stress fractures to the back and they  went in for PT while in the brace.  They also did dance with the brace on but some limitations.  And they competed with the brace off, although this may not have been recommended by their Dr.

Now my daughter has back pain again, worse this time than the fracture.  It was discovered that she has loose vertebrae in her lower spine and in looking this up, I see that this can be caused as the result of the same fracture as she had.  Beginning treatment is PT and core strengthening exercises but surgery could be necessary if this isn't enough.  The PT said she can dance now with several limitations for two weeks.  Such as jumping, running, twisting and bending.  But she can do some stretching and certainly the core exercises.  And can mark her place in the recital piece and perhaps do some of the moves.  But certainly not one move in which she is part of a piece of furniture.  I think someone sits on her.

We did have an older girl at our studio who had to pretty much quit because of her back but I'm not sure what her exact problem was.  She did stop dancing as in taking classes and being on team but she still assisted even though the teacher said she wasn't supposed to.  The next year she took ballet only and am not sure if she took it for the entire year.  Not sure I remember her being in recital. 

There was another girl who had a stress fracture in her back and she did not return to dance but then neither did her sister.  Both had  been on team.  So I don't know really why she did not return to dance.

I suppose it is possible that someone might be told not to return to dance because of an injury.  This has certainly happened to my daughter numerous times.  We used to go to one particular Drs. Clinic.  We quit going there for numerous reasons, one of which was that they couldn't seem to keep any Drs. there.  But any time she had an injury, regardless of how it happened, they always blamed dance and told me to pull her out of it.  And once when she had a broken arm, they said it was fine for her to dance because dance only involves the feet!  I was like...uh...wha?  I guess I would have to say that some forms of dance *seem* to mainly use the feet like...oh I don't know...maybe Irish?  But even then they still hold their arms and hands a certain way even though they aren't necessarily moving around.  But I digress...

It is also possible that the person who told them they could not return to dance is the parent!  And I can understand this as well.  I am glad that my daughter didn't want to play soccer or football.  Or be a cheerleader.  I have just seen and read about far too many injuries with those things.  I rather feel the same way about gymnastics.  Although I did start her out in gymnastics at age 3 only because I felt there were no suitable dance studios where we lived at the time.  And after a few sessions I realized that gymnastics was just not for her.  But if she had wanted to do one of those things and I had been able to wrap my head around it and let her do it (not sure that I would) and she got a serious injury because of it, I would likely tell her that it was the end of whatever that was.  Also feel the same way about Martial Arts.  My husband sustained a nasty finger break from that and it was so horrid that he had to go to a hand surgeon to correct the problem. 

I think it is important to get a medical professional who if not specifically trained to work with dancers at least find one who does sports medicine.  You would then approach it from the standpoint of...  She wants to keep dancing.  What does she have to do? There is a great PT here who works with dancers but sadly the place where he works doesn't take our insurance.
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JulieDB

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KKDanceMom
DD14 is still out of dance after 6 weeks! She has been in a brace for three weeks and the pain is becoming less frequent, but still occurs daily. Dance is her life and she normally dances 25+ hours per week, so she is an emotional wreck not dancing. I am just praying that she will be able to come back for nationals! If anyone has experience or suggestions we would appreciate feedback. She is seeing an orthopedic physician that specializes in dancers and professional athletes, but the waiting is really frustrating!

Mine is 14 too and although she only dances about half the number of hours that yours does, it is her life!  And when she is unable to dance, she is just beside herself.  Luckily she only has to lay off of some things for 2 weeks and then hopefully can resume.

One thing I would say is that if they tell her to do specific exercises at home, she needs to do them, always.  No excuses unless perhaps she is sick or says that they are causing her pain.  Because there is always the chance of re-injury.  My daughter did not keep up on the exercises and sadly they did not offer a Pilates/Stretch Strength/Conditioning class at our studio this year.  Probably because my daughter was one of the few who ever signed up for such classes.  She loved taking them and they really did help her. 

I realize that a lot of dancers dance pretty much non-stop, even at home.  I was one of them.  My daughter is not.  She will dance while we are out shopping and when we go to see my dad because he has a nice wood floor and a big enough space where she can actually dance.  Our house is small and the only wood we have is in the dining room which is pretty much taken up by our small table.  And she also is not good to do the exercises on her own.  Because she is trying to go en pointe, she spent this year concentrating on what she can do to do that.  And doing those exercises but wasn't working on her core muscles outside of class.  Mistake!!  And now she has loose vertebrae in her back, most likely because of the prior injury and because she didn't keep up the PT exercises.

I learned the same with my bad knee.  Do the exercises I was told to do and no problem.  Don't do them?  Pain and possible injury.  You just have to keep up on the maintenance whether you want to or not.  Even if it's only for 10 minutes a day.  You just have to find time and do it!
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heather44

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Reply with quote  #11 

"It is also possible that the person who told them they could not return to dance is the parent!" ~JudieDB

True!

Perhaps this is the case with the girl in my daughter's class, or she may have another health condition that contributed to the problem. 

I am so sorry this is happening to your daughter. Sending prayers!

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home2school

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Reply with quote  #12 
Would love to know how are your dancers doing now?
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MariaS

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Reply with quote  #13 

I am sad to hear when doctors say things like "you'll never... again", imposing the nocebo affect. A huge part of overcoming injury is BELIEVING you can do it. There are so may brilliant movement based practitioners out there who understand that training your body to move again is possible.

I am part of an excellent network of practitioners (chiro, physio, massage, etc) who could give her a second, third, and fourth opinion and help get back to functional. Check out if there's someone in your area: http://www.neurokinetictherapy.com/certified-practitioners

An important thing in the beginning that will help is learning how to relax. I know it sounds silly, but her body and mind are likely in a sympathetic (fight or flight) state. Worry, anxiety, pain. Learning to breathe properly will help her and is the first essential step to overcoming injury. You can't heal if you're in survival mode. I've been that injured dancer and I know how devastating it is on the ego.

CHeck out this article on the importance of breathing for dancers. For their performance, too:

http://danceproject.ca/is-holding-your-breath-while-you-dance-really-so-bad/


Wishing her a speedy recovery to dance [smile]

 

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KKDanceMom

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Reply with quote  #14 
My daughter is now 16 and still struggles with chronic pain. We have been to multiple specialists and undergone procedures including facet joint injections, epidural injections, and RF ablation. She saw a spine surgeon as well. There is now no MRI evidence of the fracture, but the pain lingers. Most recently physical therapy has been helpful.

We pulled her off the company this year and she is dancing just about 10 hours per week, She is somewhat better, but definitely not as good as new. She is planning to go back to dance full time this summer, but is worried her body will not cooperate.

I sincerely hope that none of you ever deal with this issue.
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cynmckee

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KKDanceMom
My daughter is now 16 and still struggles with chronic pain. We have been to multiple specialists and undergone procedures including facet joint injections, epidural injections, and RF ablation. She saw a spine surgeon as well. There is now no MRI evidence of the fracture, but the pain lingers. Most recently physical therapy has been helpful. We pulled her off the company this year and she is dancing just about 10 hours per week, She is somewhat better, but definitely not as good as new. She is planning to go back to dance full time this summer, but is worried her body will not cooperate. I sincerely hope that none of you ever deal with this issue.


There is nothing worse when your kid deals with constant pain or constant injuries.  You feel like you are on a merry-go-round of doctors and potential solutions.  My dd hasn't had spine injuries but has hip pain to a varying degree almost constantly.  We started with sports doctors, MRI's, hip surgeons and physical therapy.  Then Pilates, deep tissue massage and a great chiropractor.  The biggest relief for her has been the massage therapist and chiropractor but the results, while a great relief and immediate, seem to be temporary.  It appears to me that she has spent so many years over compensating for being out of alignment that her body has built up connective tissue on one side of her body and that is causing her to go back to "status quo" and pain no matter how often she is re-aligned. Physical therapy worked too...but only for awhile.

I think sometimes the problem ends up being that parents are the only ones that go the entire distance with their injured child.  You see a doctor who has a specialty and if they can't help you or you don't fit the profile, you move on.  Each and every therapist only sees your child for a small period.  You are the one that has seen the whole picture and been along that journey the whole way with your child. Sometime it feels like people see you as a little crazy because everyone believes that doctors will just fix the problem but often they can't help with their specific specialty and you are forced, as your child's advocate, to discover the next path on your own.

I hope you both will go slow into the summer and keep an eye on any changes.  The desire to be 'normal' again will most likely override your daughter's willingness to be forthcoming about how much she hurts.  I know my dd only tells me how bad she is hurting if I ask.  Then it will be on a scale of 1 to 10.  like "Today is a good day....only a 4."  I am forcing her to take it easy this summer and hopefully heal as much as possible while staying a little active.
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