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Sports Medicine

Functional Sports Assessment

Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush (MOR) Rehabilitation Department now offers a new assessment tool to identify the functional sports level of an athlete who has undergone surgery and rehabilitation for an ACL injury. This test provides guidance for a safe return to sport and determines if further rehabilitation is needed.


PDF MOR Functional Sports Assessment Brochure Download

The MOR Functional Sports Assessment (FSA) also is available for athletes and active individuals who want to be in top physical shape and prevent injuries. The FSA tests an athlete's physical fitness and assesses and identifies potential areas that may be prone to risk.

The FSA requires an athlete to perform functional tasks that measure agility, endurance, resistance, strength and stability. The variety of evaluations will identify an individual's physical strengths and weaknesses relevant to prevention, recovery and return to sport decisions. The individual will gain an understanding of where he/she is in the recovery process and what areas (if any) need improvement.

The function tests are administered by physical therapists and videotaped so they can analyze and evaluate each motion for alignment and form. The movements imitate common actions in sports, allowing clinicians to assess an athlete's level of function. They also identify the patient's deficits, which can then be corrected through guided rehabilitation or functional training.

Donna Williams, PT, MHS, ART Certified, director of rehabilitation at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, describes the assessment as "a comprehensive tool for providing feedback on a patient's progress after surgery and rehabilitation."

Dr. Brian Cole, Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush sports medicine specialist and head team physician for the Chicago Bulls and co-team physician for the Chicago White Sox agrees. He has recommended the MOR FSA to several patients following ACL surgery.

"Our first job is to treat the athlete, but there is also an obligation to assure to the best of our ability that patients stay in the game for life while minimizing the chances for injury or re-injury," says Dr. Cole. "This test helps gauge an athlete's functional sport-specific abilities and provides an indication of where they are in the recovery process."

Read our patient testimonials.

What to Expect During a FSA Exam

The FSA is an exam we perform to assess for deficits with knee mechanics, jumping, landing, side-to-side activities, acceleration, deceleration, and strength compared to the opposite side. The specific components of the test are below.

  • Single leg hop (for distance)
  • Triple hop (for distance)
  • Crossover hop (for distance)
  • Six-meter timed hop (for time)
  • Resisted single-leg squat (with 15% of body weight held in hand)
  • Lateral agility and pivoting (with 15% of body weight resistance around waist)
  • Drop landing into a vertical jump
  • Deceleration from a sprint

The patient is videotaped and reviewed for proper form, apprehension, landing symmetry, tibial rotation, weight distribution, trunk, knee, and hip range of motion.

These are all performed and compared to the opposite side.

The patient should be at least 22 weeks out from surgery and will be required to perform the following in order to perform the full assessment; hop forward and side-to-side, run with a quick stop and start, jump from raised surface, jump side-to-side for 2 minutes and perform a resisted single-leg squat repetitively for 3 minutes.

What to Wear

The patient should wear shorts (knees showing and preferably not black) and a different-colored top with the shoes they wear for their particular sport if appropriate for use on gym flooring.

Cost for a FSA

The MOR FSA is a one-hour test and requires a doctor's prescription. The price includes a 30-minute follow-up appointment to review video footage and results, and a written assessment.

This is a self-pay service that costs $250.00

The assessment and the full report will be sent to you and your MOR physician within 3-4 days of the assessment day.

Make an Appointment

To schedule an appointment, call 312.432.2513 and ask for an FSA appointment.

The assessments are performed on Monday mornings and Wednesday afternoons.

If you have any questions regarding the test, please speak to Dave Heidloff or Emily Haglage at 312.432.2513 or email David.Heidloff@rushortho.com or Emily.Haglage@rushortho.com.

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