Russell, Jeffrey A.; Shave, Ruth M.; Kruse, David W.; Nevill, Alan M.; Koutedakis, Yiannis; Wyon, Matthew A. (SAGE Publications, 2011)
Female ballet dancers require extreme ankle motion to attain the demi-plié (weight-bearing full dorsiflexion [DF]) and en pointe (weight-bearing full plantar flexion [PF]) positions of ballet. However, techniques for assessing this amount of motion have not yet received sufficient scientific scrutiny. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine possible differences between weight-bearing goniometric and radiographic ankle range of motion measurements in female ballet dancers. Ankle range of motion in 8 experienced female ballet dancers was assessed by goniometry and 2 radiographic measurement methods. The latter were performed on 3 mediolateral x-rays, in demi-plié, neutral, and en pointe positions; one of them used the same landmarks as goniometry. DF values were not significantly different among the methods, but PF values were (P < .05). Not only was PF of the talocrural joint significantly less than the other 2 measurements (P < .001), PF from the goniometric method applied to the x-rays was significantly less than PF obtained from clinical goniometry (P < .05). These data provide insight into the extreme ankle and foot motion, particularly PF, required in female ballet dancers and suggest that goniometry may not be ideal for assessing ankle range of motion in these individuals. Therefore, further research is needed to standardize how DF and PF are measured in ballet dancers. Level of Evidence: Diagnostic, Level I.
Russell, Jeffrey A.; Shave, Ruth M; Kruse, David W.; Koutedakis, Yiannis; Wyon, Matthew A. (American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, Inc., 2011)
Background: Female ballet dancers require extreme ankle motion. The objective of this study was to quantify the relative contributions of the ankle and various foot joints to extreme plantarflexion (PF) and dorsiflexion (DF) in female ballet dancers using an X-ray superimposition technique and digital graphics software. Materials and Methods: One asymptomatic ankle was studied in each of seven experienced female ballet dancers. Three lateral weightbearing X-rays were taken of each ballet dancer's ankle: en pointe (maximum PF), in neutral position, and in demi-plié (maximum DF). Using graphics software, a subject's three X-ray images were superimposed and the tali were aligned. On each image the tibia, navicular, intermediate cuneiform, and first metatarsal were marked. Positional differences of a bone's line among the three images demonstrated angular movement of the bone in degrees. The neutral position was the reference from which both PF and DF of the bones were calculated. Results: The talocrural joint contributed the most motion of any pair of bones evaluated for both PF and DF, with mean movements of 57.6 ± 5.2 degrees en pointe and 24.6 ± 9.6 degrees in demi-plié. Approximately 70% of total PF and DF were attributable to the talocrural joint, with the remaining 30% coming from motion between adjacent pairs of the studied foot bones. Conclusion: Superimposed X-rays for assessing ankle and foot contributions to the extreme positions required of female ballet dancers offer insight into how these positions are attained that is not available via goniometry. Clinical Relevance: Functional information gained from this study may assist clinicians in assessessing ankle and foot pain in these individuals.
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