The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Broadway News: Stress Fractures Stall Rumer Willis on Broadway

Posted by on Wednesday, September 9th, 2015


Twenty-seven-year-old Rumer Willis first captured the world’s eye as the oldest daughter of famous cinematic parents Demi Moore and Bruce Willis. She’s appeared in movies like Now and Then (1995), Strip Tease (1996), The Whole Nine Yards (2000) and Hostage (2005), but more recently she’s entertained audiences with a big win on “Dancing With The Stars” alongside dancer Valentin Chmerovskiy. With her much-anticipated Broadway debut as Roxie Hart in “Chicago” on the horizon, the last thing the young star needed was a stress fracture in her right foot!

stress fractures
Fans who loved Rumer Willis in ‘Dancing with the Stars’ will have to wait a little longer to see her on Broadway. Image source: Flickr CC user Ryan Hoard

Rumer Willis’ Stress Fractures

Rumer Willis was set to debut in her Broadway role on August 18th, but said she has to postpone her appearance until September 14th following “multiple stress fractures” sustained in June, while kick-stepping her way through the “Dancing With The Stars Live! Perfect 10 Tour.”1

“I have to hang up my dancing shoes for a little bit because of a few stress fractures in my foot,” she reported on Instagram, “but it’s not gonna stop me from singing for you guys on the #DWTSlivetour.” Rumer hasn’t let her broken foot get her down: she’s rocked her brace on stage and has been spotted at premieres and on vacation nursing her injuries.2

Risk Factors for Foot Stress Fractures

Being located in New York City, The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine treats a lot of young dancers and Broadway stars for common foot stress fractures. The rigorous nature of dance training and the many hours necessary to master the skills of a routine sets up dancers for injury. One conservative estimate determined that nearly a third of ballet dancers suffer stress fractures during their careers, but a 17-year review found that the percentage was, in fact, somewhere between to 84 and 95%.3

Other dynamic athletes like gymnasts, runners, jumpers, and military recruits are at risk for stress fractures. Of course, not everyone engaged in these sports develops an injury. Studies have not conclusively determined sure-fire methods for stress fracture prevention, but we do know that certain risk factors make this type of injury more likely for a dancer.

Risk factors include:

  • Consuming more than 10 alcoholic beverages per week
  • Excessive physical activity with limited rest periods
  • Eating disorders, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis
  • Being female
  • Possessing low levels of vitamin D
  • Low intake of calcium
  • Running more than 25 miles per week
  • Smoking
  • Suddenly increasing activity levels

NYC Stress Fracture Treatment & Prevention

Our experienced sports medicine doctors work with athletes to treat and prevent dance injuries like stress fractures. We take a total-body wellness approach that offers specific guidance on how to:

  • Reduce activity levels without diminishing overall fitness
  • Properly stretch and strengthen the body for recovery
  • Eat to build bone density and improve nutrition
  • Cross-train to enhance cardiovascular health
  • Care for oneself at home using ice, compression, elevation, and over-the-counter medicines.

Treatment rarely involves surgery, but our offices in Manhattan and Westchester are fully equipped with diagnostic tools to determine the extent of the injury, as well as the progress of your healing, and we have board-certified podiatric surgeons on staff. We also offer advanced therapies such as bone stimulation via ultrasound. Some patients benefit from custom, shock-absorbing orthotics to reduce the occurrence of lower extremity stress injuries. We are there for you every step of the way, including designing a comprehensive rehabilitation program with physical training exercises to help you regain flexibility and strength. We will also counsel you on types of shoes that may provide needed structure and support for your feet, while still allowing you to dance or perform. Contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine for an evaluation today!




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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.