Dance Medicine Center Opens

Cedars-Sinai/USC Dance Medicine Center Opens

A specialized treatment center -- the first of its kind in Los Angeles -- has opened at Cedars-Sinai to help keep dancers on their feet.

Cedars-Sinai and the University of Southern California (USC) School of Theatre Dance Program this week announced the opening of the Cedars-Sinai/USC Dance Medicine Center, a collaborative effort offering preventive care and treatment specifically designed for professional and recreational dancers.

The center, located in the Mark Goodson Building, offers a multidisciplinary team of experts in dance and movement, sports medicine, orthopaedics, surgery and physical therapy. In addition to providing informational workshops and training about how to prevent injuries, team members from the center are available by appointment to assess, treat and rehabilitate injuries when they do occur, particularly foot, ankle, knee, neck, back and hip injuries.

This unusual collaboration began when Glenn Pfeffer, M.D., (pictured above) director of the Cedars-Sinai Foot and Ankle Center, met Margo Apostolos, Ph.D., associate professor and director of Dance at the USC School of Theatre. Apostolos and Pfeffer co-lead the center.

Pfeffer is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon whose interest in dance began when he took ballroom dance lessons as a youth. He even competed in ballroom dancing, until a foot injury sent him to the sidelines. Pfeffer's main clinical and research interests are in the area of foot and ankle injuries.

Apostolos, who has training as both a scientist and a dancer, has developed a highly respected dance program at USC. Also a skilled roboticist, Apostolos has done work and research in robot choreography at Stanford University and at Caltech/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena.

"Many dance students and professionals sustain injuries caused by high impact, repetitive stress," said Pfeffer. "Often, those types of injuries are preventable; but when they do occur, they require specific types of care. What makes the Cedars-Sinai/USC Dance Medicine Center unique is that we've assembled an amazing team of experts who can speak dancers' language from experience. Together, we bring significant knowledge about the anatomical and psychological issues that many dancers face, which allows us to be especially effective at helping to prevent and treat dance-related injuries."

Other members of the physician team include Rodney Gabriel, M.D., William Hohl, M.D., Leonel Hunt, M.D., and Andrew Spitzer, M.D.

For more information, call 310-4-2-DANCE (310-423-2623).