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Freiberg's Disease as a Rare Cause of Limited and Painful Relevé in Dancers

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Freiberg's disease, or osteonecrosis of the second metatarsal head, is an uncommon cause of forefoot pain that can severely limit a dancer's relevé. Dancers may be predisposed to the condition due to repetitive microtrauma to the ball of the foot during routine dance movements. Freiberg's disease is diagnosed by history, physical examination, and plain film radiographs. Conservative treatment in dancers is disappointing, and surgical options fail to produce uniformly good results. Previously published reports of successful surgical outcomes would, for a dancer, result in an unacceptable loss of dorsiflexion of the MTP joint. This first case report of Freiberg's disease in a dancer serves to discuss the orthopaedic and artistic implications of managing the disease in a young, active, adolescent dancer. A new surgical treatment involving modification of Mann's cheilectomy, normally used for hallux rigidus, is presented. The operation corrected the patient's pain, completely normalized the aberrant relevé, allowed her to resume dance training within three weeks, and return to full dance activity within three months.
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Document Type: Case Report

Affiliations: Medisch Centrum voor Dansers en Musici, Medish Centrum Haaglanden, locatie: Westeinde, PO Box 432, 2501 CK The Hague, The Netherlands. [email protected]

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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