Another week, another one of Jennifer Grey's body parts shuts down on Dancing with the Stars. Forgive us if we sound cynical, but when we have to hear about it every week we start to wonder if Jennifer shouldn't just do her body a favor and relax in, say, Hawaii instead of torturing herself.
Last week 50-year-old Jennifer saw a doctor because she felt like she'd been hit by a truck. "Jennifer has bruises from her foot to her shin to her thigh to her knee to her neck," Derek said. This week, Derek said practice for their Quickstep and Insta-Rumba was fantastic until mid-way through the first day when Jen's knee started acting up. When she looks at him and quietly shakes her head, he knows things are really bad — as opposed to when she just winces and gets loud. Jennifer tried hard to push through the pain, Derek tells us, but he could see that it was getting to her. For her safety he called a doctor. Orthopedic surgeon Gary Brazina looked at Jennifer's knee and said "this tendon is just red, red hot." She has a partial tearing of the tendon, he says, and "a fairly significant patellar tendonitis. It’s inflamed, it’s badly inflamed."
According to the Mayo Clinic, "Patellar tendinitis is an injury that affects the tendon connecting your kneecap (patella) to your shinbone. The patellar tendon plays a pivotal role in the way you use your legs. It helps your muscles extend your lower leg so that you can kick a ball, push the pedals on your bicycle and jump up in the air. Patellar tendinitis is most common in athletes whose sports involve frequent jumping — for instance, basketball, soccer and volleyball players. For this reason, patellar tendinitis is commonly known as jumper's knee."
Doc tells Jen there's a fine line between saying enough is enough and when you're going to keep going. Once again, she wasn't sure if her body was going to make it through the competition. Her father, Oscar winner Joel Grey (go rent Cabaret!), showed up to give her a pep talk. He thinks it will be okay, and sure enough, she gets out there and bounces her jumper's knee through a very jump-happy Quickstep. The producers were sure to add in a clip of her having more knee problems in rehearsals — in case we doubted the severity of her malady — but she still got triple 9s for that, and the first perfect score of the season for her Insta-Rumba. We get that she has real, serious, consistent health problems, but we also see her just about every week at the top of the leader board. So unless she feels ready to withdraw from the competition for health reasons (it has been done, you know, see Misty May-Treanor, Jewel, Nancy O'Dell, and Tom DeLay) it's probably time for us to stop hearing about the injuries.