Forum: Adults / 40 Something

40 Something
Senior dancers
By BBarb Comments: 3, member since Sat Oct 25, 2014
On Sat Oct 25, 2014 05:52 AM

I am 75 years old and still dancing up until last year when I broke both ankles in quick succession (broke left, then when that was out of its pot - broke the other). I've had physio and done exactly as I was told by the medics, but cannot regain my demi-plie - so have lost my spring.
Is there anyone out there who's had a similar experience, and if so - what did you do to alleviate the pain and get your movement back.
Oh - a bone scan showed better than average density.

4 Replies to Senior dancers

re: Senior dancers
By SarahdncrPremium member Comments: 634, member since Wed Jul 29, 2009
On Sat Oct 25, 2014 06:57 AM
Hi Barb. Well first off congrats that you are still dancing at 75! That is terrific!!

I am 48, and do adult ballet. I am now 8+ weeks post-op recovering from having right Total Hip Arthroplasty (Total Hip Replacement) due to developing severe osteo-arthritis over the last 8 years in my hip joint.

My re-hab is coming along very well mostly due to they type of procedure I had, a direct anterior approach, v. the more traditional posterior approach. My physio's tell me I am very much ahead of where a normal posterior THR pt. would be at this stage in their recovery. T this point I am almost pain free from the surgical pain associated with the surgery itself.

My Dr.'s have cleared me to re-start ballet class in another two weeks, but I will certainly have to take it easy and there are a number of poses / exercises that I will have to modify with my instructor's help, along with a few permanent lifetime no' no's like jumping, running, abductions of the joint beyond 90d, etc. So we will see how it goes.

In my case, my OA pain was gone from almost the day I came out of surgery so the surgery itself is what I needed to alleviate my pain. Now it is just re-habbing the weakness in my hips from having the surgery and with the right leg being weaker to begin with as I was greatly favoring staying off it and pushing myself with it - even in class. Physio has helped tremendously to get my post-surgical movement back, and being strong going into surgery was a great help as well--which I owe to my ballet teachers.

I am sure once your bones heal that you will feel better and get back on your feet with physio work and being able to once again move about. Again, your dance training will come in handy for your recovery and will make it easier to rehab as you were probably physically stronger to begin with than an average person who suffered the same as you did.

Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions. spesasFee
re: Senior dancers
By BBarb Comments: 3, member since Sat Oct 25, 2014
On Sat Oct 25, 2014 07:21 AM
Edited by BBarb (271106) on 2014-10-25 07:24:42 noticed punctuation mistake
Hi Sarah, it was lovely of you to reply and I admire you for keeping so positive about your hip op. Do make sure your leg lengths are still equal though, I have known people have quite significant lengthening or shortening of the leg after a hip replacement - and this will make a huge difference in your balance and strength.
I'd hardly say I was dancing exactly after I was 50 or so - certainly no pointe work - but I had some class music on tape so I would do some barre work most days, and have to say I felt much better for it. No I just can't jump any more, and I'm sure my arches have dropped. I'd love to take some classes but don't know anyone in the area who would be able to help me. I wonder if Pilates would be a good thing.
I tried the Pre-Primary RAD class at home after being released from my final cast .... what a failure .... huh, knees over toes is impossible. I tried a physio (the NHS one was hopeless - he was amazed I was walking without a stick) - and she says I should ask for a weight bearing Xray to see if there are spurs growing at the base of the tibia and she's written a note for my GP.
You are very lucky to have found a teacher who is so helpful - look after her and she'll surely keep you strong and supple. Good luck.
re: Senior dancers
By SarahdncrPremium member Comments: 634, member since Wed Jul 29, 2009
On Sat Nov 15, 2014 06:16 PM
BBArb: Thanks for your good thoughts. My re-hab continues and I am still doing well.

To answer your question, I did have a leg length issue to start with, (which most likely was from breaking my leg really well in a fall when I was downhill ski'ing at 13 yrs old), and which my ortho believes as the leg fracture healed, my leg shrunk a tad shorter, and over all these years this eventually led to abnormal wear on my hip and my OA with it.

However my leg length issue was taken care of by my ortho when he did my THR. And you are quite right BBarb....I am now re-learning a new gait/balance with equal legs now. There is still strength and balance work to do which should make everything good-to-go by the end of 8 months post-op.

Indeed I think Pilates would be very good for you. It's very gentle on the body, and has helped many other ladies I know, re-strengthen weak areas they are having problems with.---No harm to give it a try, esp. if you have a very qualified instructor. Your new physio's suggestion to you that you have some additional x-rays done sounds like good advice too.

Thanks again for your thoughts. Yes, I am very great-full to the instructor I've had for the last few years. She has indeed really helped me get ready for surgery , and is excited to help me re-start and get back post-surgery. I am the first adult student she has ever had with an artificial hip.

Take care and hope it continues to work out well for you.
re: Senior dancers
By Patineur Comments: 10, member since Thu Jan 02, 2014
On Sun Nov 16, 2014 01:23 PM
These injuries take a long time to heal. Keep at it. After injuries, I found it very helpful to practice steps in a pool and gained back leg strength, joint mobility, and spring in my demi-plie. It must have been quite a sight watching me do ballones, ballotes, emboites and jetes but in the end several piqued swimmers asked me to show them my novel "aquacize steps."