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Fractured Calcaneum (heel bone)

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My eldest dd had some devastating news yesterday which has resulted in her having to hang up her pointe shoes. She's 15. Dancing has only ever been an important hobby and pointe was never her favourite but this news has come as a bit of a shock. I was just wondering if anyone has any information/experience of dancing with a fractured calcaneum. Last year she had an accident at school. She had all the relevant xrays but nothing broken showed up. Anyway she has just had an mri scan as the injury is still causing issues and we were informed that this heel bone is fractured and the joint is irreparable. We were advised that if she continues to dance as much as she does then her foot could be arthritic in the next 5-10 years. She is going to have an operation to remove the loose bone soon however this makes no difference to the possible arthritis. Our first reaction is to stop Pointe, modern, anything where she has no support on her feet and let her do other dance styles where she can wear supporting shoes. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by dancetaximumx2

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I have no experience or advice to offer but I just wanted to say how sorry I am to hear of your DD's news - I agree it is devastating. I hope the operation goes well and that she is able to dance again and get some enjoyment from it - even if as you say it does mean a change in dance styles so that her feet can be more supported. Hugs and best wishes to you both

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Sorry to hear such rotten news, your poor dd. :( Did they say that it had been broken all this time, and wasn't picked up before? Should it have been noticed on the earlier x-rays?

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Sorry to hear that dancetaximum...Would it be worth getting a 2nd opinion from the NHS Dance Clinic ? x

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Just to say how sorry I am to hear what has happened. How awful for you all.

 

A second opinion would possibly be useful - I wonder if a calcaneum rather than a dance specialist as your main priority seems to be avoiding premature arthritis rather than the dancing per se.

 

Could your dd do modern in dance trainers? Someone we know with a foot problem that required support continued ballet in dance trainers but didn't do exams.....

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Thank you for all your kind words, they are really appreciated. As this is just a hobby to her, our main priority is definitely to halt the start of arthritis in her foot. a second opinion about the long term effects is always a good thing so will do some research I to this. The break did happen when she fell last year and maybe due to swelling/location of this bone it wasn't picked up on the xray.Ill be speaking to her dance teachers tomorrow about it all and will definitely ask if when she is back dancing that shoes could be worn for classes after checking it out with the consultant first.

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Just to say I'm so sorry to hear this devastating news , my heart goes out to you and your DD .....

I do hope that you find a safe way to continue to get some enjoyment out of some form of dance in the future ????

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So sorry to hear the news do hope you find a way for her to continue in one form or another x

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Such horrible news. I am so sorry for your poor dd.

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Obviously you should listen to advice and do all you can to protect your dds long-term health but in my experience some doctors are very quick to predict arthritis following bone traumas. I have had problems with my hip since birth and during childhood my mother was repeatedly told I would get early arthritis and need a hip replacement probably in my 30s.  I will be 50 this year and have absolutely no sign of arthritis although whenever I go to the doctors with hip problems the first thing they do is suggest an x-ray saying its probably arthritis. I now ask for physio first as I have had so many x-rays I think they are more of a health risk than arthritis!

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Obviously you should listen to advice and do all you can to protect your dds long-term health but in my experience some doctors are very quick to predict arthritis following bone traumas. I have had problems with my hip since birth and during childhood my mother was repeatedly told I would get early arthritis and need a hip replacement probably in my 30s.  I will be 50 this year and have absolutely no sign of arthritis although whenever I go to the doctors with hip problems the first thing they do is suggest an x-ray saying its probably arthritis. I now ask for physio first as I have had so many x-rays I think they are more of a health risk than arthritis!

I agree, I was in a running group once and there was a man with such bad arthritis of his knee that it looked deformed. He told me he was advised not to run but ignored it and continued to enjoy his hobby for many years with all the health benefits that that entailed. Wear and tear arthritis is certainly more likely if you have injured a joint but it also depends on other factors such as genetics. Rest and appropriate support and rehabilitation could also be just as important, hopefully you should be able to discuss your concerns with your doctor so you and your dd can make an informed decision and weigh up the risks and benefits. I wish you the best of luck.

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Little update. A friend of mine spoke to her chiropractor yesterday about by dd`s situation. He found the information given to me about premature arthritis a bit harsh due to her age and fitness. Needless to say an appointment has been booked to see him for a second opinion. Things are looking up :-)

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Just wanted to say that I am married to a nurse, and it's so misleading when we talk about bones being 'broken'. People automatically wonder why it wasn't picked up on X-ray, but a 'fracture' can be as small as a crack or a chip. Sometimes they can't diagnose a fracture until the healing process has started and they can see what is happening. There are so many tiny bones in the foot – I just don't want people to think "How could you not see a broken heel?" because (as usual) it's not that simple!

 

(Editing to add that I do wish your DD well – these young, fit folk are often much better at healing than us oldies)

Edited by Cara in NZ
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Further update - unfortunately didn't get to see the chiropractor as had a family bereavement and then our surgeon went on the sick and cancelled all his as operations. This cancellation however turned out for the better. Another surgeon took on the case and has decided our first option is to try an injection instead of an operation, scheduled to take place end of July. The icing on the cake however is that he also sees no reason why she shouldn't continue to dance after the injection as long as she experiences no further pain.

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;-) That sounds promising - fingers crossed. These difficult clinical situations never have black and white answers. .....

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