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May 1982

Loss of Patellar and Achilles Tendon Reflexes in Classical Ballet Dancers

Arch Neurol. 1982;39(5):323. doi:10.1001/archneur.1982.00510170065030

To the Editor.—  To our knowledge, loss of muscle stretch reflexes in the legs of ballet dancers has not been reported in either the neurologic or ballet literature, although this fact is generally recognized among experienced dancers and instructors who believe it to be secondary to repeated minor injuries to the feet and legs that are frequently incurred during dancing. The phenomenon is more common among female dancers who dance en pointe and generally occurs after eight to ten years of dance experience.Four of 20 female ballet students from the North Carolina School of theH-Reflex Recovery Curve Measures in Seven Female Ballet Students Subject/ Age, yr Dance Experience, yr Recovery Curve Measurement 1/19 110 81 2/19 110 3/19 50† 21† 37‡ 12 46 47† 5/18 100 49 30‡ 6/20 55† 19† 48† 7/21 65 28† Controls* SD 22.9 18.6 11.1 Normal ranges for measurements of recovery curve are