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.
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.
Some of the required moves include: single leg hop, triple hop, crossover hop, six-meter timed hop, resisted single-leg squat, lateral agility, pivoting, a drop to jump and deceleration from a sprint. 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."
The MOR FSA is a one-hour test ($250) 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.