As athletic trainer Sara Myers guides athletes through their rehabilitation journey, she enjoys proving to patients that they are stronger than they think. The Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics Return to Play program, which begins approximately three months following surgery, she explains, consists of two very intense evaluation sessions, followed by an individualized regimen of exercise "correctives".
Phase I of the evaluation includes not only a Functional Movement Screen™ but also Y-Balance™, core, single leg strength and single leg hop testing. Phase II includes agility testing, vertical jump and drop jump testing, assessing force development and the ability to control movement patterns.
In the unique collaboration between physicians, physical therapists and athletic trainers that is Forté's strength, doctors have immediate access to video assessments of their patients, allowing them to see how each patient is moving outside of the clinic exam room. Progress is assessed relative to the movement patterns required of each patient's sport. From among a wide variety of the latest breakthrough treatments and techniques, Forté doctors, physical therapists and athletic trainers design correctives that will benefit each athlete, sharing information about each patient's strengths and deficits.
While Forté certainly offers orthopedic walk-in care for recent bone, muscle, joint or sports medicine injuries, a very important aspect of Return to Play is injury prevention. Each sport has its unique demands, and in the rehabilitation process, movement quality must be evaluated within the framework of each specific sport. Return to Play, Sara Myers explains, is all about challenging patients in their element - on the turf, in the batting cage, on the pitching mound, on the court.
There's little debate about the one thing athletes want most after suffering an injury and undergoing surgery - returning to play!