by Jason Yuag, PT, DPT
Recovering from a knee injury can be a long process, whether it’s a minor sprain or a major knee surgery. There are certain steps you need to take to make sure you recover properly especially if you want to return to a specific activity or sport. Whether you are in high school or an elite athlete, determining whether or not you are ready to return to your sport at or above your prior level of function is a major decision. Am I ready? What if I get injured again? What if I can’t compete at my prior/desired level? These are just a few questions you need to ask yourself when making this decision. It’s possible you are already in or have done physical therapy which has helped decrease your pain, help regain your strength, range of motion and flexibility, but does this mean you are ready to return to playing sports safely? Multiple factors need to be assessed to determine whether you are actually ready to return to a high level of activity which may involve running, cutting, jumping and dynamic balance. Do you think you are ready for this? There are specific tests that research has shown with age and sports related specific norms, to determine if you are not only ready to return to your sport, but if you are within the normal limits of other people in your gender, age and your individual sport. These tests can measure your, speed, agility and balance giving you the appropriate measures you need to determine whether or not you are ready to return to your sport(s).
One of these tests is the Hexagon Hop Test which has been shown to be a reliable measurement tool to test for agility. This test is performed by having the athlete jump around a drawn out hexagon first clockwise, then counter-clockwise with their time recorded. Comparison of the clockwise and counter-clockwise directions will show if any imbalance exists between left and right movement skills.1
A test that is utilized to assess your balance is the Y-Balance Test.2 This test has been researched and is evidenced based to determine if there are any balance deficits between your right and left leg. This test is performed by setting up tape on the floor in a shape of a “Y” and having the athlete balance on one leg and tap their other leg as far as they can along the line of the “y” without losing balance. This study has shown that girls with a combined reach distance less than 94% of their limb length were 6.5 times more likely to have a lower extremity injury.3
The Single Hop for Distance Test and the Triple Hop for Distance Test are another set of tests which can be performed. The Single Hop for Distance Test is performed by having the athlete start at a standing position, hop with his/her uninjured leg first, take the measurement of the distance in inches, and then attempt a single hop with the injured leg. The Triple Hop for Distance test is done by performing 3 consecutive hops in a row without stopping, starting from a standing position. The distances from each leg are then compared to each other. These tests have been proven to be a reliable and valid outcome measure during rehabilitation after ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries and can help assess whether or not you are ready to return to sport.1
These tests are just a few that can help determine whether or not you are ready to return to your sport; however, these tests will need to be assessed by a licensed professional who is properly trained at evaluating movement dysfunctions. Here at BreakThrough Physical Therapy our highly trained physical therapists have treated and trained patients from https://medfitnetwork.org/public/valium-diazepam-oral/ middle school to elite, professional athletes. With our expertise and experience in sports rehabilitation we can appropriately perform these tests, evaluate the findings and work with you, the athlete, to make a clearer decision on whether or not you are ready to return to your sport.
What if you don’t have an injury and just want to improve in your sport to take you to the next level?
To learn more, check out our Sports Performance (individual, one on one setting) and BEYOND Performance (team/group setting). Our highly trained sports and rehabilitation therapists will help you improve your agility, speed, cutting ability, balance, endurance and most importantly injury prevention. Also, check out our Functional Movement™ Screens to obtain a solid baseline as to your overall function.
Jason Yuag, PT, DPT has been in practice since 2009. He has a passion for training high level athletes at any age and knows how to get you the results you desire. Jason has gone through ACL Reconstruction surgery himself and knows all about going through the rehabilitation process and how scary it can be to return to sports. He is co-developer of our BEYOND Program, continually seeks more current information and training and does his best to ensure that all patients, clients and athletes he works with achieve results BEYOND their expectations.
1. Reid A, Birmingham TB, Stratford PW, et al. Hop Testing Provides a Reliable and Valid Outcome Measure During Rehabilitation After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction. Phys Ther. 2007 Jan; 87:337-349.
2. Ortiz A, Olson SL, Roddey TS, Morales J. Reliability of Selected Physical Performance Tests in Young Adult Women. J Strength Cond Res. 2005 Feb;19 (1):39-44.
3. Plinky P, Rauh M, Kaminski T, et al. Star Excursion Balance Test as a Predictor of Lower Extremity Injury in High School Basketball Players. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2006 Dec; 36(12):911-919