Unilateral and bilateral patellofemoral pain in young female dancers: Associated factors

Nili Steinberg*, Shay Tenenbaum, Gordon Waddington, Roger Adams, Gal Zakin, Aviva Zeev, Itzhak Siev-Ner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Aiming to evaluate the prevalence of unilateral/bilateral patellofemoral pain (PFP) among young dancers, and to investigate whether different factors are associated with PFP in young dancers, 132 dancers aged 12–14 years were assessed for PFP. Anthropometric parameters, proprioception ability, dynamic postural balance (DPB), and muscle strength were measured. PFP was found in 64.1% of the dancers. No significant differences in the prevalence of dancers with no, unilateral, or bilateral PFP at different ages were found. Significant age effects were found for anthropometric and developmental measurements, and for intensity of training. PFP effect was found for DPB asymmetry, ankle proprioception, and leg-length %height. A higher hip abductor/adductor ratio was associated with PFP in 14-year-old dancers. Binomial logistic regression showed that increased number of hours per day (h/day) and decreased number of hours per week (h/week), low proprioception scores, greater leg length as %height, and more anterior DPB asymmetry were significant predictors of PFP. In conclusion: unilateral/bilateral PFP is common among young dancers. Body morphology, reduced ankle proprioception ability, DPB asymmetry, and increased h/day of practice are associated with PFP. Dance teachers should start monitoring the impact of training and implement injury modification/prevention strategies when their students are at a young age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-730
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2020


  • Knee
  • dynamic postural balance
  • impact of training
  • morphology
  • proprioception
  • strength


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