Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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The "Cost" of Injuries in a Professional Ballet Company: A Five-year Study

Ruth Solomon, John Solomon, Lyle J. Micheli, Ernest McGray, Jr.
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 14 Number 4: Page 164 (December 1999)

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Abstract: This is the third report on some epidemiologic, medical, and financial aspects of injuries to dancers of the Boston Ballet Company over a five-year period (1993-98). With respect to rank, age, and gender, the injuries were found to be evenly distributed throughout the company, and to occur with greatest frequency in the months immediately following periods of relative inactivity. Injuries to the lower extremities accounted for 68.5% of the total, while the spine added another 22.6%. Well over half the injuries each year were diagnosed as either strain/sprain or tendinitis. There were 29 surgeries, two-thirds of which were performed on males. By virtue of contracting with a variety of health care providers to treat the dancers upon referral by the company's physician, and paying these providers directly while claiming only "major" expenses against workers' compensation insurance, the company has saved in excess of $1.2 million against what it would otherwise have paid in insurance premiums. This new policy has also had a felicitous effect on company morale.

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