This study aimed to evaluate the risk of developing hip pain, cartilage defects, and retirement in hypermobile ballet dancers over 5 years.
Prospective cohort study.
Professional Ballet Company.
Forty ballet dancers (57.5% women) were assessed at baseline and 21 dancers at 5 years.
Baseline evaluation of generalised joint hypermobility (GJH) (GJH = Beighton score ≥5/9).
Cartilage defects on hip 3T magnetic resonance imaging and pain (the Copenhagen Hip and Groin Outcome Score: HAGOS) at baseline and follow-up, hip-related injury incidence, and retirement over 5 years.
Twelve dancers retired by follow-up, none due to hip injury or GJH. At baseline, 17 (42.5%) dancers were hypermobile, 18 (45%) had cartilage defects, and 15 (37.5%) reported hip pain (HAGOS pain <100). Cartilage defect prevalence was lower in GJH (n = 1) than non-GJH dancers (n = 17, P < 0.001). Beighton scores <5/9 were predictive of cartilage defect presence at baseline, independent of age and sex (P = 0.006). At follow-up, cartilage defects progressed in 2 dancers, one was hypermobile. Baseline and follow-up HAGOS pain scores were similar in GJH and non-GJH dancers (P > 0.05 for all). Hip-related injury over 5 years was reported by a similar number of GJH (n = 7) and non-GJH dancers (n = 6, P = 0.7). Hypermobility was more prevalent in active dancers (n = 12) than dancers who retired (n = 2), independent of age, rank, and sex (P = 0.03).
Hypermobile dancers are at no greater risk of reporting hip pain and injury or retirement over 5 years, and cartilage defect prevalence was much lower in GJH than non-GJH dancers.