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Bony morphology of the hip in professional ballet dancers compared to athletes

journal contribution
posted on 2017-07-01, 00:00 authored by S Mayes, A-R Ferris, P Smith, Andrew GarnhamAndrew Garnham, J Cook
OBJECTIVES: To compare hip bony morphology between ballet dancers and a sporting control group and to determine the relationship with hip pain. METHODS: Thirty-three professional ballet dancers and 33 age- and sex-matched athletes completed questionnaires, including the Copenhagen Hip and Groin Outcome Score (HAGOS), and underwent clinical testing and 3.0-T magnetic resonance imaging to measure acetabular coverage with lateral centre edge angles, femoral head-neck junction concavity with alpha angles at anterior and superior positions, femoral neck-shaft angles, and acetabular version angles. RESULTS: Bony morphological measures fell within normal ranges. Dancers had higher neck-shaft angles (dancers 134.6 ± 4.6°/athletes130.8 ± 4.7°, p = 0.002), lower acetabular version angles (13.5 ± 4.7°/17.1 ± 4.7°, p = 0.003), lower superior alpha angles (38.9 ± 6.9°/46.7 ± 10.6°, p < 0.001), similar anterior alpha angles (43.6 ± 8.1/46 ± 7°, p = 0.2), and similar lateral centre edge angles (28.8 ± 4.6°/30.8 ± 4.5°, p = 0.07) compared to athletes. Abnormal morphology was detected in dancers: 3% acetabular dysplasia (athletes 0), 15% borderline dysplasia (6%), 24% cam morphology (33%), 24% coxa valga (6%), and 21% acetabular retroversion (18%). The HAGOS pain scores correlated moderately with acetabular version (r = -0.43, p = 0.02) in dancers, with no other correlation between pain and morphological parameters in either group. CONCLUSIONS: Professional ballet dancers have hip bony morphology that differentiates them from athletes. Hip pain correlated poorly with bony morphology. KEY POINTS: • Ballet dancers have hip bony morphology that may allow extreme hip motion. • Morphological parameter means fell within normal reference intervals in dancers. • Bony morphology correlates poorly with hip pain. • The risk of hip injury due to abnormal morphology requires prospective studies.



European radiology






3042 - 3049




Berlin, Germany





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, European Society of Radiology