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What is a ‘Dancer’s Fracture’?

dancer's fracture

A badly sickled foot

A dancer’s fracture is a spiral fracture of the 5th metatarsal neck (the bone just behind the base of the little toe).  This type of fracture generally results from landing with an inverted or ‘sickled’ foot and from falling off of pointe/demi pointe over the little toe.

The cause of these mis-steps is usually weakness and / or fatigue in the peroneal muscles that run down the outside of the shinbone.  A dancer’s fracture is generally most painful during warm up, landing from jumps and after class.

A dancer’s fracture usually requires 6-8 weeks of immobilisation in a small customised boot, available from your podiatrist and rehabilitative exercises following that.  If left untreated, the fracture may progress to a complete break and move out of alignment which may then require surgical fixation.


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