Golf is a popular sport played by hundreds of thousands of individuals of all ages and of varying skill levels. An orthopedic or sports-related injury and/or surgery may limit an individual's sport participation, require him/her to complete a course of rehabilitation, and initiate (or resume) a sport-specific training program. Unlike the availability of evidence to guide postsurgical rehabilitation and sport-specific training of athletes from sports other than golf, there have only been two reports describing outcomes after surgery and for golfers. The purpose of this case report is to present a post-rehabilitation return to sport-training program for a recreational golfer 11-months after a rotator cuff repair.
The subject, a 67-year old female, injured her right shoulder requiring a rotator cuff repair 11-months prior to her participation in a golf fitness training program. The subject participated in six training sessions over seven week period consisting of general strengthening exercises (including exercises for the rotator cuff), exercises for the core, plyometrics, and power exercises.
The subject made improvements in power and muscular endurance of the core. She was able to resume golf at the completion of the training program.
The subject was able to make functional improvements and return to golf after participation in a comprehensive strength program. Additional studies are necessary to improve program design for golfers who wish to return to sport after shoulder surgery.
The subject of this case study, a 16-year-old female triathlete, presented to physiotherapy reporting a 6 month history of anterior knee pain, with symptoms unchanged upon resuming a graduated triathlon training program, despite 3 months rest from all training.
The case describes the differential diagnosis and management of patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS), and discoid lateral meniscus (DLM) in an adolescent female triathlete. Clinical reasoning and rehabilitation strategies are presented with respect to literature base. Final outcome was full resolution of symptoms and return to full athletic function, however, symptoms were relatively persistent and atypical.
This case report discusses the differential diagnosis and management of persistent and atypical anterior knee pain in a sixteen-year-old female triathlete. In such cases, the diagnostic process is often iterative, where intervention serves both therapeutic and diagnostic purposes.
Recent changes in the understanding of the pathophysiology of ITBS and links between the anterior and lateral knee compartments through highly innervated knee synovial tissue assist the therapist's understanding of how these conditions may occur concomitantly, with resulting atypical symptoms. The potential influences of likely changes in the subject's peripheral and central nervous system on symptom perception is also discussed.
Level 5; Single case report.
Anterior knee pain (AKP), also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), is believed to be common in young, active females. A prevalence rate of 25% has been commonly cited in the literature. However, this rate may be more anecdotal than empirical. The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of AKP in females 18 to 35 years of age.
Three cohorts of females, totaling 724 participants between 18 and 35 years of age participated in this study. The mean age of participants was 24.17 years (SD: 2.34), mean height was 165.10 cm (SD: 7.26), mean weight was 65.46 kg (SD: 14.10), and mean BMI was 23.95 kg/m2 (SD: 4.86). Participants completed the Anterior Knee Pain Questionnaire (AKPQ), a functional outcome tool developed to document symptoms of AKP and progress in patients during rehabilitation.
The mean score on the AKPQ for the left lower extremity was 93.38 (SD: 10.00) and 93.16 (SD: 11.37) for the right lower extremity. Using a cutoff score of 83 on the AKPQ, 85 of 724 subjects were classified as having AKP in the left lower extremity for a prevalence of 12% (95% CI = 9%-14%) while 94 subjects were classified with AKP in the right lower extremity for a prevalence of 13% (95% CI = 11%-15%).
The estimated prevalence of AKP in this sample of 18-35 year old females of 12-13% is much less than the commonly cited value of 25%. The results may provide a better representation of subjects with AKP.
Bony avulsion of the pectoralis major muscle is a rare but potentially devastating injury for athletes. Pectoralis major rupture typically occurs in 20 to 39 year-old males. The shoulder region is one of the most frequently injured areas in Judo athletes. The purpose of this case report is to describe diagnosis and treatment following a pectoralis major bony avulsion due to an atypical mechanism of injury in a young Judo athlete.
A 19-year-old military cadet and competitive judo athlete reported to a direct-access sports physical therapy clinic 7 weeks after incurring a shoulder injury during a judo match. He complained of shoulder pain and weakness with the inability to perform pushups. He presented with horizontal adduction weakness and visible discontinuity of the pectoralis muscle with resisted adduction.
Radiographs demonstrated a bony avulsion of the pectoralis major from its humeral attachment. The patient underwent surgical repair of the lesion the next week and was able to resume most military cadet activities within 5 months post-operation.
Bony avulsions are exceptionally rare injuries, and are even more uncommon in athletes under the age of 20. It is important for clinicians to perform a thorough history and physical examination in order to avoid missing this diagnosis. Surgery is likely the best option for a young athletic population; while conservative management may be optimal for the older, inactive population.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is one of the most common and clinically challenging knee pathologies. Historically, clinicians have used a myriad of interventions, many of which have benefited some but not all patients. Suboptimal outcomes may reflect the need for an evidence-based approach for the treatment of PFPS. The authors believe that integrating clinical expertise with the most current scientific data will enhance clinical practice. The purpose of this systematic review is to provide an update on the evidence for the conservative treatment of PFPS.
The PubMed, CINAHL, and SPORTDiscus databases were searched for studies published between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2010. Studies used were any that utilized interventions lasting a minimum of 4 weeks for subjects with PFPS. Data were examined for subject sample, intervention duration, intervention type, and pain outcomes.
General quadriceps strengthening continues to reduce pain in patients with PFPS. Data are inconclusive regarding the use of patellar taping, patellar bracing, knee bracing, and foot orthosis. Although emerging data suggest the importance of hip strengthening exercise, ongoing investigations are needed to better understand its effect on PFPS.
Current evidence supports the continued use of quadriceps exercise for the conservative management of PFPS. However, inconsistent or limited data regarding the other interventions precluded the authors' ability to make conclusive recommendations about their use. Future investigations should focus on identifying cohorts of patients with PFPS who may benefit from the other treatment approaches included in this systematic review.
Patellar dislocations are traumatic injuries that occur most often in individuals under the age of twenty and are related to sports and physical activity. Currently, there are no published reports describing the rehabilitation of younger males after arthroscopy and open reconstruction of the medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) using a tibialis anterior allograft.
The subject of this case report was a 23 year-old recreational male athlete who underwent right knee arthroscopic patellar chondroplasty, lateral retinacular release, partial lateral menisectomy, and an open MPFL reconstruction with a tibialis anterior allograft after sustaining a second patellar dislocation. The purpose of this case report is to present the functional outcomes as well as the rehabilitation strategy used during the treatment of this athlete.
The patient returned to his prior level of activity after finishing 22 weeks of physical therapy. At a one-year follow-up, the patient reported pain-free physical activity including weight training, running, and recreational basketball.
The results of this four-phase rehabilitation program with this subject were excellent. However, research beyond single subject case reports on post-operative rehabilitation for knee arthroscopy and open MPFL reconstruction with a tibialis anterior allograft is lacking. This is the first report that describes a rehabilitation strategy for this procedure. Although there was a successful rehabilitation outcome, future research is necessary to establish optimal rehabilitation guidelines as well as normative milestones for individuals who undergo this surgery.
Three-dimensional motion analysis is the "gold standard" for evaluating kinematic variables during treadmill running. However, its use is limited by temporal and financial restraints. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the concurrent validity and reliability of 2D video analysis for frontal plane kinematic variables during treadmill running.
Twenty-four healthy male and female collegiate cross-country runners completed a running protocol at a self-selected speed. Frontal plane kinematic data were collected using 3D and 2D motion analysis systems. Variables of interest included contralateral pelvic drop (CPD), peak hip adduction angle (HADD), and peak knee abduction angle (KABD). Pearson Product Correlation Coefficients were used to determine the relationship between the 3D and 2D systems for each variable. Intra-Class Correlation Coefficients (ICC) were used to assess intra-rater reliability of the user of the 2D software.
The 2D testing method demonstrated excellent intra-rater reliability for peak HADD (ICCs: 0.951-0.963), peak CPD (0.958-0.966), and peak KABD (ICCs: 0.955-0.976). Moderate correlations between 2D and 3D measures of HADD on the left (0.539; p=0.007) and the right (0.623; p=0.001) and peak KABD on the left (0.541; p=.006) lower extremity were found. No statistically significant correlation of CPD was found between the 2D and 3D systems. The 2D measure of CPD had a strong correlation to the 2D assessment of HADD on both the left (0.801; p=0.0001) and the right (0.746; p=0.0001) extremity.
These findings and the ease of data capture using 2D software provide support for the utility of 2D video analysis in the evaluation of frontal plane variables, specifically HADD.
Although side to side symmetry of lateral abdominal muscle thickness has been established in healthy individuals, it is unknown whether abdominal muscle symmetry exists in athletes with asymmetrical physiological demands, such as those of single-sided rowers. The purpose of this study was to examine the oarside versus the non-oarside lateral abdominal musculature thickness in collegiate single-sided rowers, as measured by ultrasound imaging (USI).
The study was a prospective, cross-sectional, observational design. Thirty collegiate crew team members (17 males, 13 females, age 19.8±1.2 years) characterized as single-sided rowers participated. Resting muscle thickness measurements of the transversus abdominis (TrA), internal oblique (IO), and external oblique (EO) muscles were obtained via USI. Comparisons of absolute and relative muscle thickness between oarside and non-oarside were performed using paired t-tests. Potential differences based on gender, rowing experience, and history of low back pain were investigated using mixed model analysis of variance.
There were no clinically significant differences in absolute or relative thickness of the TrA, IO or EO on the oarside versus the non-oarside. There were no significant side to side differences in the relative muscle thickness of the TrA, IO or EO based on gender, rowing experience, or history of low back pain.
In this sample of single-sided rowing athletes, no clinically significant side to side differences in lateral abdominal muscle thickness were observed. Despite the asymmetrical functional demands of single-sided rowers in this study, thickness of the lateral abdominal muscles was symmetric.
Most athletic events present potential for abdominal trauma for their participants. The responsibility of the "most medical" professional at the event is to have the knowledge to recognize, treat, and properly manage these injuries. As these injuries are very different in nature from orthopedic injuries, the dangers presented are also very different, and can include outcomes as serious as organ failure and death. Because of these differing risks, many professionals are uneasy about proper treatment, especially on the sidelines. However, with a few key points about mechanism of injury, monitoring changes in vital signs, and careful assessment of presenting symptoms, most abdominal injuries can be properly managed on the sidelines.
Level of evidence:
Swiss ball training is recommended as a low intensity modality to improve joint position, posture, balance, and neural feedback. However, proper training intensity is difficult to obtain during Swiss ball exercises whereas strengthening exercises on machines usually are performed to induce high level of muscle activation.
To compare muscle activation as measured by electromyography (EMG) of global core and thigh muscles during abdominal crunches performed on Swiss ball with elastic resistance or on an isotonic training machine when normalized for training intensity.
42 untrained individuals (18 men and 24 women) aged 28-67 years participated in the study. EMG activity was measured in 13 muscles during 3 repetitions with a 10 RM load during both abdominal crunches on training ball with elastic resistance and in the same movement utilizing a training machine (seated crunch, Technogym, Cesena, Italy). The order of performance of the exercises was randomized, and EMG amplitude was normalized to maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) EMG.
When comparing between muscles, normalized EMG was highest in the rectus abdominis (P<0.01) and the external obliques (P<0.01). However, crunches on Swiss ball with elastic resistance showed higher activity of the rectus abdominis than crunches performed on the machine (104±3.8 vs 84±3.8% nEMG respectively, P<0.0001). By contrast, crunches performed on Swiss ball induced lower activity of the rectus femoris than crunches in training machine (27±3.7 vs 65±3.8% nEMG respectively, P<0.0001) Further, gender, age and musculoskeletal pain did not significantly influence the findings.
Crunches on a Swiss ball with added elastic resistance induces high rectus abdominis activity accompanied by low hip flexor activity which could be beneficial for individuals with low back pain. In opposition, the lower rectus abdominis activity and higher rectus femoris activity observed in machine warrant caution for individuals with lumbar pain. Importantly, both men and women, younger and elderly, and individuals with and without pain benefitted equally from the exercises.
Low eccentric strength of the hip abductors, might increase the risk of patellofemoral pain syndrome and iliotibial band syndrome in runners. No normative values for maximal eccentric hip abduction strength have been established. Therefore the purpose of this study was to establish normative values of maximal eccentric hip abduction strength in novice runners.
Novice healthy runners (n = 831) were recruited through advertisements at a hospital and a university. Maximal eccentric hip abduction strength was measured with a hand-held dynamometer. The demographic variables associated with maximal eccentric hip abduction strength from a univariate analysis were included in a multivariate linear regression model. Based on the results from the regression model, a regression equation for normative hip abduction strength is presented.
A SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE IN MAXIMAL ECCENTRIC HIP ABDUCTION STRENGTH WAS FOUND BETWEEN MALES AND FEMALES: 1.62 ± 0.38 Nm/kg (SD) for males versus 1.41 ± 0.33 Nm/kg (SD) for females (p < 0.001). Age was associated with maximal eccentric hip abduction strength: per one year increase in age a -0.0045 ± 0.0013 Nm/kg (SD) decrease in strength was found, p < 0.001. Normative values were identified using a regression equation adjusting for age and gender. Based on this, the equation to calculate normative values for relative eccentric hip abduction strength became: (1.600 + (age * -0.005) + (gender (1 = male / 0 = female) * 0.215) ± 1 or 2 * 0.354) Nm/kg.
Normative values for maximal eccentric hip abduction strength in novice runners can be calculated by taking into account the differences in strength across genders and the decline in strength that occurs with increasing age. Age and gender were associated with maximal eccentric hip abduction strength in novice runners, and these variables should be taken into account when evaluating eccentric hip abduction strength in this group of athletes.
A strong understanding of diagnostic imaging has been advocated for physical therapists. There have been recent changes in physical therapy curricula and increased opportunities to utilize imaging during clinical practice.
The aim of this study was to explore the ability of practicing clinicians to accurately identify selected musculoskeletal conditions on plain-film radiograph (X-ray), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography scan (CT scan). Further, to determine whether improvements in identification of pathology occur when the clinical scenario is added to the imaging and whether there are related training/exposure factors.
A cross- sectional electronic survey was sent out to physical therapists in the state of Ohio. Participants were asked to identify conditions (cervical fracture, anterior cruciate ligament tear, and avascular necrosis of the femoral head) first given diagnostic images only, and then given the images and a clinical scenario.
Eight hundred sixty-six surveys of the 7537 sent out were eligible for analysis. With clinical scenarios, 61.3% of respondents were correct with the ACL injury identified on MRI, 36.4% for identification of the cervical spine fracture on CT and 25.6% for identification of avascular necrosis on plain film. The accuracy significantly improved (p<0.01) with the addition of the clinical information for all three of the diagnoses. The most remarkable improvement was seen with the AVN diagnosis on plain film radiograph (365.5% improvement), followed by the ACL injury on MRI (27.2% improvement) and cervical fracture diagnosis on CT scan (17.8% improvement). Finally, formal and informal training, board certification through the APTA and to a lesser extent, degree level, all improved diagnostic accuracy.
A clinical scenario paired with images notably improved identification of pathology. Physical therapists were better at identifying the ACL pathology that was presented on MRI. This is a common diagnosis to physical therapists and was paired with a relatively common imaging modality. This study suggests that physical therapists can improve accuracy with identifying pathologies on diagnostic images through a physical therapy curriculum or post-graduation through certifications and continuing education.
Level of evidence:
Both forefoot strike shod (FFS) and barefoot (BF) running styles result in different mechanics when compared to rearfoot strike (RFS) shod running. Additionally, running mechanics of FFS and BF running are similar to one another. Comparing the mechanical changes occurring in each of these patterns is necessary to understand potential benefits and risks of these running styles. The authors hypothesized that FFS and BF conditions would result in increased sagittal plane joint angles at initial contact and that FFS and BF conditions would demonstrate a shift in sagittal plane joint power from the knee to the ankle when compared to the RFS condition. Finally, total lower extremity power absorption will be least in BF and greatest in the RFS shod condition.
The study included 10 male and 10 female RFS runners who completed 3-dimensional running analysis in 3 conditions: shod with RFS, shod with FFS, and BF. Variables were the angles of plantarflexion, knee flexion, and hip flexion at initial contact and peak sagittal plane joint power at the hip, knee, and ankle during stance phase.
Running with a FFS pattern and BF resulted in significantly greater plantarflexion and significantly less negative knee power (absorption) when compared to shod RFS condition. FFS condition runners landed in the most plantarflexion and demonstrated the most peak ankle power absorption and lowest knee power absorption between the 3 conditions. BF and FFS conditions demonstrated decreased total lower extremity power absorption compared to the shod RFS condition but did not differ from one another.
BF and FFS running result in reduced total lower extremity power, hip power and knee power and a shift of power absorption from the knee to the ankle.
Alterations associated with BF running patterns are present in a FFS pattern when wearing shoes. Additionally, both patterns result in increased demand at the foot and ankle as compared to the knee.
The squat is a fundamental movement of many athletic and daily activities. Methods to clinically assess the squat maneuver range from simple observation to the use of sophisticated equipment. The purpose of this study was to examine the reliability of Coach's Eye (TechSmith Corp), a 2-dimensional (2D) motion analysis mobile device application (app), for assessing maximal sagittal plane hip, knee, and ankle motion during a functional movement screen deep squat, and to compare range of motion values generated by it to those from a Vicon (Vicon Motion Systems Ltd) 3-dimensional (3D) motion analysis system.
Twenty-six healthy subjects performed three functional movement screen deep squats recorded simultaneously by both the app (on an iPad [Apple Inc]) and the 3D motion analysis system. Joint angle data were calculated with Vicon Nexus software (Vicon Motion Systems Ltd). The app video was analyzed frame by frame to determine, and freeze on the screen, the deepest position of the squat. With a capacitive stylus reference lines were then drawn on the iPad screen to determine joint angles. Procedures were repeated with approximately 48 hours between sessions.
Test-retest intrarater reliability (ICC3,1) for the app at the hip, knee, and ankle was 0.98, 0.98, and 0.79, respectively. Minimum detectable change was hip 6°, knee 6°, and ankle 7°. Hip joint angles measured with the 2D app exceeded measurements obtained with the 3D motion analysis system by approximately 40°. Differences at the knee and ankle were of lower magnitude, with mean differences of 5° and 3°, respectively. Bland-Altman analysis demonstrated a systematic bias in the hip range-of-motion measurement. No such bias was demonstrated at the knee or ankle.
The 2D app demonstrated excellent reliability and appeared to be a responsive means to assess for clinical change, with minimum detectable change values ranging from 6° to 7°. These results also suggest that the 2D app may be used as an alternative to a sophisticated 3D motion analysis system for assessing sagittal plane knee and ankle motion; however, it does not appear to be a comparable alternative for assessing hip motion.
Orthopedic special tests of the ankle/foot complex are routinely used during the physical examination process in order to help diagnose ankle/lower leg pathologies.
The purpose of this systematic review was to investigate the diagnostic accuracy of ankle/lower leg special tests.
A search of the current literature was conducted using PubMed, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, ProQuest Nursing and Allied Health Sources, Scopus, and Cochrane Library. Studies were eligible if they included the following: 1) a diagnostic clinical test of musculoskeletal pathology in the ankle/foot complex, 2) description of the clinical test or tests, 3) a report of the diagnostic accuracy of the clinical test (e.g. sensitivity and specificity), and 4) an acceptable reference standard for comparison. The quality of included studies was determined by two independent reviewers using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies 2 (QUADAS-2) tool.
Nine diagnostic accuracy studies met the inclusion criteria for this systematic review; analyzing a total of 16 special tests of the ankle/foot complex. After assessment using the QUADAS-2, only one study had low risk of bias and low concerns regarding applicability.
Most ankle/lower leg orthopedic special tests are confirmatory in nature and are best utilized at the end of the physical examination. Most of the studies included in this systematic review demonstrate notable biases, which suggest that results and recommendations in this review should be taken as a guide rather than an outright standard. There is need for future research with more stringent study design criteria so that more accurate diagnostic power of ankle/lower leg special tests can be determined.
Interpretation of Lachman testing when evaluating the status of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) typically includes a numerical expression classifying the amount of translation (Grade I, II, III) in addition to a categorical modifier (Grade A [firm] or B [absent]) to describe the quality of the passive anterior tibial translation's endpoint. Most clinicians rely heavily on this tactile sensation and place value in this judgment in order to render their diagnostic decision; however, the reliability and accuracy of this endpoint assessment has not been well established in the literature.
The purpose of this study was to determine the intertester reliability of endpoint classification during the passive anterior tibial translation of a standard Lachman test and evaluate the classification's ability to accurately predict the presence or absence of an ACL tear.
Prospective, blinded, diagnostic reliability and accuracy study.
Forty-five consecutive patients with a complaint of knee pain were independently evaluated for the endpoint classification during a Lachman test by two physical therapists before any other diagnostic assessment. The 21 men and 24 women ranged in age from 20 to 64 years (mean +/- SD age, 40.7 +/- 14) and in acuity of knee injury from 30 to 365 days (mean +/- SD, 238 +/-157).
17 of the 45 patients had a torn ACL. The agreement between examiners on A versus B endpoint classification was 91% with a kappa coefficient of 0.72. In contrast, classification agreement based on the translational amount had an agreement of 65% with a weighted kappa coefficient of 0.52. The sensitivity of the endpoint grade alone was 0.81 with perfect specificity resulting in a positive likelihood ratio of 6.2 and a negative likelihood ratio of 0.19. The overall accuracy of the Lachman test using the endpoint assessment grade alone was 93% with a number needed to diagnose of 1.2.
Nominal endpoint classification (A or B) from a Lachman test is a reliable and accurate reflection of the status of the ACL. The true dichotomous nature of the test's interpretation (positive vs. negative) is well-served by the quality of the endpoint during passive anterior tibial translation.
Achilles tendinopathy (AT) is a common pathology and the aetiology is unknown. For valid and reliable assessment The Victorian Institute of Sports Assessment has designed a self-administered Achilles questionnaire, the VISA-A. The aim of the present study was to evaluate VISA-A as an outcome measure in patients with AT.
A systematic search of the literature was conducted using MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PEDro, Web of Science, and Cochrane Controlled trials to identify trials using VISA-A for patients with AT. This was followed by data mining and analysis of the obtained data.
Twenty-six clinical trials containing 1336 individuals were included. Overall mean VISA-A scores ranged from 24 (severe AT) to 100 (healthy). Mean VISA-A scores in patients with AT ranged from 24 to 96.6. Healthy subjects scored a minimum of 96. Only two groups of participants from two different studies had a post-VISA-A score as high as healthy individuals, indicating full recovery of the AT.
A VISA-A score lower than 24 is rarely attained in AT. Only few patients with AT reach an equivalent VISA-A score compared to uninjured healthy subjects following treatment. The VISA-A is a reliable tool when assessing AT patients, providing a good assessment of the actual condition from very poor, (score around 24) to excellent (a score of 90), which based on this systematic review and previous studies could be considered full recovery from AT.
Mid-portion Achilles tendinopathy (AT) is a common injury among runners and recreational athletes. The conservative management of mid-portion AT typically includes eccentric exercise as recommended in multiple systematic reviews and practice guidelines. However, an eccentric program typically requires 12 weeks for satisfactory results and problems with compliance have been reported. Astym® is a non-invasive instrument assisted soft tissue treatment that can be used in the management of tendinopathies but there is limited published research on this treatment approach. The purpose of this case report is to present the management and outcomes of a patient with AT who was treated with eccentric exercise and Astym®.
The patient was a 56-year-old recreational tennis player referred to physical therapy with mid-portion AT of 6 weeks duration. Her primary complaints were pain with walking and an inability to play tennis. She was treated in physical therapy 2 times per week for 10 visits with treatment focused on Astym® and eccentric exercise.
By her 6(th) visit she subjectively reported being 75% functionally normal and was able to play a doubles tennis match. After 10 visits she reported that she was pain-free and able to play singles and doubles tennis without limitation.
The patient in this case report was able to return to her normal activities after 5 weeks of treatment with Astym® and eccentric exercise. These results were achieved in less than half of the time commonly reported with eccentric exercise alone.
This case suggests that Astym® combined with eccentric exercise may be a beneficial treatment approach for patients with AT.
The benefits and proposed physiological mechanisms of eccentric exercise have previously been elucidated and eccentric exercise has been used for well over seventy years. Traditionally, eccentric exercise has been used as a regular component of strength training. However, in recent years, eccentric exercise has been used in rehabilitation to manage a host of conditions. Of note, there is evidence in the literature supporting eccentric exercise for the rehabilitation of tendinopathies, muscle strains, and in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rehabilitation. The purpose of this Clinical Commentary is to discuss the physiologic mechanism of eccentric exercise as well as to review the literature regarding the utilization of eccentric training during rehabilitation. A secondary purpose of this commentary is to provide the reader with a framework for the implementation of eccentric training during rehabilitation of tendinopathies, muscle strains, and after ACL reconstruction.
A tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) represents a significant injury for an athlete that requires substantial time away from sport, and significant rehabilitation after reconstruction. The physical therapist is responsible to determine when a patient is capable of tolerating the physical demands of daily activities and to attempt to prevent re-injury. Physical or functional performance tests (FPTs) are one mechanism used to evaluate the athlete's physical skills and capabilities prior to returning to sports participation. The purpose of this systematic review is to critically examine the clinical utility of functional performance tests used with patients less than or equal to one year post ACL reconstruction.
A systematic review of the relevant literature was performed using PRISMA guidelines. A total of twelve studies were included for analysis.
Two independent blinded reviewers then analyzed and rated the final included articles (n=12) utilizing the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS). Percent overall agreement between raters for the NOS was 88% with a fixed-marginal kappa (κ) of 0.80. Of the 12 included articles, the FPTs were utilized as an outcome measure within the study design (41.7%) or studied as a measure of function (58.3%). Among those studies that used FPTs as a "measure of function" 71.4% studied a battery of FPTs, while 28.6% studied a single test. None of the studies utilized FPTs as a measure to determine readiness to return to sport.
FPTs are being utilized with patients, less than or equal to one year post ACL reconstruction, either as an assessment of functional performance or as an outcome measure. No studies identified a FPT or test battery that has construct or predictive validity for "return to sport" in athletic population one-year post-ACL reconstruction. The identification of the critical elements within the return to sport construct may allow lower extremity performance tests to be developed or test batteries assembled to incorporate the appropriate tests to examine all of these elements deemed critical. Additionally the current FPTs should undergo content and predictive validation to assist the sports physical therapist in determining the readiness of the athlete for return to sport.
Quadriceps weakness is a common finding following knee injuries or surgery, and can be associated with significant functional limitations. This weakness or muscle inhibition may be due to central inhibitory mechanisms, rather than local peripheral dysfunction. Lumbopelvic manipulation has been shown to effect efferent muscle output by altering nociceptive processing. The purpose of this report is to describe the physical therapy management of anterior knee pain and chronic quadriceps weakness utilizing side-lying rotational lumbar thrust manipulation and therapeutic exercise for an individual eight months status-post ACL reconstruction.
A 20 year-old male presented to physical therapy eight months following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction of the left knee with primary complaints of residual anterior knee pain and quadriceps weakness. The subject was treated with a multimodal approach using side-lying rotational lumbar thrust manipulation in addition to therapeutic exercise.
The subject was seen in physical therapy for eight sessions over eight weeks. Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS) scores improved from 58/80 to 72/80, quadriceps force, measured by hand-held dynamometry (HHD), was improved from 70.6 lbs to 93.5 lbs and the subject was able to return to pain free participation in recreational sports.
Therapeutic exercises can facilitate improved quadriceps strength, however, in cases where quadriceps weakness persists and there is concurrent pain, other interventions should be considered. In this case, lower quarter stabilization exercise and lumbar thrust manipulation was associated with improved functional outcomes in a subject with anterior knee pain and quadriceps weakness. Side-lying rotational lumbar thrust manipulation may be a beneficial adjunctive intervention to exercise in subjects with quadriceps weakness.
5, Single case report.
Specific movement patterns have been identified as influential in ACL injury; however several key kinematic variables that might be predictive of future performance have not been fully investigated. The purpose of this research was to: 1) determine if subjects with ACL reconstruction display different displacement, velocity, and time to peak ground reaction force (GRF) during cutting activities than healthy subjects, 2) observe if subjects with visual disruption display differences in these variables, and 3) determine if visual disruption alters these variables in subjects with ACL reconstruction relative to healthy subjects.
Seventeen healthy female subjects and 17 female subjects with unilateral ACL reconstruction (ACLR) performed 40 trials of a cutting movement during which knee position was measured via a 3D electromagnetic system. Visual conditions were randomized to disrupt vision for 1 second as the subject began the cutting movement, or allow full vision for movement duration. Independent variables were lead/push off leg (ACLR limb or healthy non-dominant limb) and vision (disrupted or full). 2-way ANOVAs were utilized to determine differences between knee kinematics using dependent variables of displacement (m), absolute velocity (m/sec), and time to reach peak GRF (% of cut).
Knee displacement was significantly less for ACLR (.76±.11; .75±.16) than non-dominant (.85±.08; .87±.12). Knee velocity was significantly slower for ACLR (.81±.14; .84±.16) than non-dominant (.92±.11; .97±.14). A significant interaction was noted for displacement and average velocity (p<.05). Time to reach peak GRF was significantly longer for ACLR (79.41±2.28) than non-dominant (76.65±4.41).
Subjects with ACLR displayed less knee displacement, slower velocity, and an increased time to reach peak GRF relative to healthy subjects' non-dominant knee. Visual disruption appeared to have some effect on movement, as noted by interaction effects. These movement adjustments may be indicative of an altered motor program that allows for successful and safe task completion while reducing the forces and load on the knee.
While the use of functional knee braces for return to sports or high level physical activity after ACL reconstruction (ACLR) is controversial, brace use is still prevalent.(1,2,3,4,5) All active patients in the practice are braced after ACLR and must pass a battery of sports tests before they return to play in their brace. Criteria include a 90% score on 4 one-legged hop tests(9) burst superimposition strength test,(10) Knee Outcome Survey Activities of Daily Living Scale,(8) and a global rating of knee function.
The purpose of this study was to describe the use of criterion-based guidelines to determine if athletes who had undergone an ACLR function better with or without their functional brace, one year after surgery.
Sixty-four patients post ACLR performed 4 one-legged hop tests,(9) burst superimposition strength test,(10) and completed the Knee Outcome Survey Activities of Daily Living Scale,(8) and a global rating of knee function one year after surgery with and without their brace.
Participants included 35 men and 29 women with a mean age of 25 years. The Mean Knee Outcome Survey Activities of Daily Living score was 98%, and the global rating was 97%. Of the subjects, one patient failed hop testing by at least one criterion with and without the brace. Three additional patients failed the test while braced but passed un-braced, and one patient passed with the brace, but failed without the brace. Subjects performed significantly better un-braced than braced in all hop tests: single leg hop braced = 101%; un-braced = 107% (p<0.001); cross-over hop braced = 100%; un-braced = 105% (p<0.001); triple hop braced = 99%; un-braced = 101% (p=0.003); timed hop braced = 98%; un-braced = 103% (p = 0.004).
Sixty-two of 64 patients continued to score above return to play criteria one year after ACLR. All but two subjects in the cohort performed better un-braced than braced. Based on the criterion set for this testing session, 62/64 individuals performed well enough to discontinue use of their brace.
Despite recent advances in anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACL) surgical techniques, an improved understanding of the ACL's biomechanical role, and expanding research on optimal rehabilitation practices in ACL-reconstructed (ACLR) patients, the re-tear rate remains alarmingly high and athletic performance deficits persist after completion of the rehabilitation course in a large percentage of patients. Significant deficits may persist in strength, muscular activation, power, postural stability, lower extremity mechanics, and psychological preparedness. Many patients may continue to demonstrate altered movement mechanics associated with increased injury risk. The purpose of this clinical commentary and literature review is to provide a summary of current evidence to assist the rehabilitation professional in recognizing, assessing, and addressing factors which may have been previously underappreciated or unrecognized as having significant influence on ACLR rehabilitation outcomes.
A literature review was completed using PubMed, Medline, and Cochrane Database with results limited to peer-reviewed articles published in English. 136 articles were reviewed and included in this commentary.
Barriers to successful return to previous level of activity following ACLR are multifactorial.Recent research suggests that changes to the neuromuscular system, movement mechanics, psychological preparedness, and motor learning deficits may be important considerations during late stage rehabilitation.
Level 5- Clinical Commentary.
BACKGROUND/INTRODUCTION: With an increasing number of pre-adolescents participating in sports, anterior cruciate ligament injuries and resultant reconstruction in the skeletally immature athlete are becoming more common. Many different surgical techniques and rehabilitation protocols have been proposed for the treatment of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, but there is a lack of agreement as to which approach results in the best outcome. Rehabilitation protocols have marked variation regarding postoperative weight bearing, immobilization, bracing, and length.
This is a case of a ten year old female who sustained bilateral ACL tears within the period of a year. The purpose of this case report is to describe the early result and subsequent rehabilitation following bilateral physeal-sparing all-epiphyseal ACL reconstructions on a skeletally immature patient with a three-year follow-up.
The early post-surgical recovery period on the first injured knee was complicated by knee stiffness requiring manipulation. Following this minor setback, the patient met all physical therapy goals and had no additional complications. The rehabilitation after the second surgery followed a typical course. At three-year follow-up, the patient had grown an additional seven inches, with radiographic evidence of symmetric physeal growth and joint stability. She has returned to playing competitive sports.
This innovative physeal-sparing technique has huge implications as, historically; the feared complication of growth disturbance and angular deformity from transphyseal ACL reconstruction has complicated the management of ACL injuries in children and pre-adolescents. This case report demonstrates the success of this technique, and the subsequent rehabilitation, as this patient did not experience a reduction in long-term bone growth.
5 Case Report.
The management of the pediatric patient with an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) rupture is evolving towards earlier reconstruction. The rehabilitation progression and outcomes for skeletally immature individuals undergoing ACL reconstruction (ACL-R) are not well described in the literature. Differences in surgical procedure, age related physiology, and emotional maturity may have a significant impact on recovery and return to sports. The purpose of this case report is to present the rehabilitation and outcome of a skeletally immature patient that underwent an all-epiphyseal ACL-R, highlight important considerations in the rehabilitation process and present topics for future research.
Single subject case report of an 8 year-old boy who underwent all epiphyseal ACL-R after complete ACL rupture.
The patient was able to achieve at least 90% strength symmetry and pass all necessary functional criteria to return to sports by 9 months post surgery. Two year follow up data indicated that the patient was able to make a full return to previous level of athletic activity, as well as maintain lower extremity strength and power over time.
Objective outcome measures, rehabilitation protocols and time frame for return to sports for skeletally immature patients following physeal sparing or all epiphyseal ACL-R are not well described in the literature. This case report outlines objective measures of strength and functional recovery in a patient from this unique population. As ACL-R in the skeletally immature patient is studied more, new information on rehabilitation progression and outcomes may alter the rehabilitation program and timeline for return to unrestricted activity.
4, Case Report.
Current clinical outcome measurements may overestimate the long term success of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). There is a need to understand biomechanics of the knee joint during daily activities. This systematic review provides a comprehensive overview of the literature related to gait in patients following ACLR. The purpose of this systematic review was to investigate the available literature and provide a comprehensive overview of kinematic and kinetic variables that present during gait in patients after ACLR.
A literature search was performed in AMED, CINAHL, EMBASE, Medline and Scopus between January 2000 and October 2012. Inclusion criteria included articles written in English, German or Dutch, and those reporting on gait analysis in patients after ACLR. Kinematic and/or kinetic data of the uninjured and ACLR knee and healthy controls (CTRL) were outcome measurements of interest. Each study's methodological quality was assessed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme critical appraisal tool.
Twenty two studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. A total of 479 patients with a mean age of 27.3 were examined. Time between the injury and surgery and ranged from 3 weeks to 5.7 years. Gait analysis was done at a mean of 29.3 months after surgery. Gait was found to be altered in the sagittal, frontal and transverse planes after ACLR and may take months or years to normalize, if normalization occurs at all.
Patients after ACLR have altered gait patterns that can persist for up to five years after surgery. It is imperative that rehabilitation techniques are examined in order to minimize changes in knee biomechanics during gait, as they have the potential to impact on the development of osteoarthritis.
Injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the most common ligamentous injury, ranging from up to 200,000 injuries per year in the United States. Sports such as soccer, football, and skiing have been reported to be high-risk sports that can cause injury to the ACL when compared to other sport activities. Due to the high incidence of ACL injuries, approximately 100,000 ACL reconstructions are performed each year. Although conservative treatment can potentially be successful in the appropriate population, patients with goals of returning to high levels of sport activity may not be successful with conservative treatment. Even though reconstruction is the most common treatment for ACL rupture, there remains debate in the literature regarding the optimal timing of surgery. Therefore, the purpose of this clinical commentary is to review the available evidence to provide insight into the optimal timing of ACL reconstruction.
Acromioclavicular injuries are quite common and approaches to early management of those that are described as a Type III are controversial. The Rockwood Type III classification implies complete disruption of the acromioclavicular and coracoclavicular ligaments, resulting in inferior positioning of the scapula and, thus, the glenohumeral complex while the clavicle appears more superiorly prominent. Clinical management can include surgical or conservative techniques. This case report outlines the decision making process related to this type of injury, as applied in the diagnosis and management of 61 year-old recreational athlete.
Level of evidence:
5 (Single Case report).
Quadriceps function is an important outcome following lower extremity injury and surgery. Measurements of quadriceps function are particularly helpful initially post surgery, however traditional quadriceps strength measures like isokinetic testing are contraindicated during this time period. Inclusion of dynamic musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging in the clinical setting has been beneficial in understanding quadriceps activation specifically rectus femoris (RF) contraction; however, there is a paucity of literature in this area. The purpose of the current study was to describe the cross-sectional area (CSA) of the RF across varying knee flexion angles.
Forty-five adult recreational athletes were recruited for the study (21 males, 24 females). All subjects underwent tests of maximal volitional isometric contractions of the knee extensors at 0, 30, 60 and 90 degrees of knee flexion. During the trials, musculoskeletal ultrasound images of the RF at 15 cm from the superior pole of the patella were taken at rest and during contraction for each of the angular positions. Mixed model ANOVAs (angle x sex) were utilized to examine the differences between males and females for different angular positions. These analyses were conducted for the resting CSA, active CSA, and the contractile index (resting - active).
RF cross-sectional area increased with increasing angles of knee flexion for both the resting and active conditions. The contractile index consistently decreased as knee flexion angle increased. No statistically significant interactions or main effects for sex were observed, although differences were observed in the trajectories of the data sets for males and females.
RF CSA is dependent on knee flexion angle in both males and females. As a result, the assessment of RF CSA should be conducted in a standardized position if this variable is to be utilized as a meaningful measure of muscle size during rehabilitation. Additional research should seek out which factors are associated with clinically relevant factors that effect RF CSA across the range of knee flexion.
Hip abduction strengthening exercises may be critical in the prevention and rehabilitation of both overuse and traumatic injuries where knee frontal plane alignment is considered to be important. The purpose of the current investigation was to examine the muscular activation of the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius during the double-leg squat (DLS), single-leg squat (SLS), or front step-up (FSU), and the same exercises when an added load was used to pull the knee medially.
Eighteen healthy females (ages 18-26) performed six exercises: DLS, DLS with load, FSU, FSU with load, SLS, and SLS with load. Integrated and peak surface electromyography of gluteus maximus and gluteus medius of the dominant leg were recorded and normalized. Motion analysis was used to measure knee abduction angle during each exercise.
SLS had the highest integrated and peak activation for both muscles, regardless of load. Adding load, only increased DLS integrated gluteus maximus activation (p=0.019). Load did not increase integrated gluteus medius or peak gluteus maximus activation. Adding load decreased SLS peak gluteus medius activation (p=0.003). Adding load increased peak knee abduction angle during DLS (p=0.013), FSU (p=0.000), and SLS (p=0.011).
Overall, the SLS was most effective exercise for activating the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius. Applied knee load does not appear to increase muscle activation during SLS and FSU. DLS with an applied load may be more beneficial in activating the gluteus maximus. Overall, the use of applied loads appears to promote poorer musculoskeletal alignment in terms of peak knee valgus angle.
Proper strengthening of the core and upper extremities is important for muscular health, performance, and rehabilitation. Exercise devices have been developed that attempt to disrupt the center of gravity in order to activate the trunk stabilizing muscles. The objective of this study was to analyze the trunk and shoulder girdle muscle activation with double and single oscillating exercise devices (DOD and SOD respectively) in various planes.
TWELVE MALE SUBJECTS PERFORMED THREE INTERVENTIONS USING BOTH DEVICES UNDER RANDOMIZED CONDITIONS: single-handed vertical orientation of DOD and SOD to produce 1) medio-lateral oscillation in the frontal plane 2) dorso-ventral oscillation in the sagittal plane and 3) single-handed horizontal orientation for superior and inferior oscillation in the transverse plane. Electromyographic (EMG) activity during the interventions of the anterior deltoid, triceps brachii, biceps brachii, forearm flexors as well as lower abdominal and back stabilizer muscles was collected, and were normalized to maximal voluntary contractions. A two way repeated measures ANOVA (2x3) was conducted to assess the influence of the devices and movement planes on muscle activation.
The DOD provided 35.9%, 40.8%, and 52.3% greater anterior deltoid, transverse abdominus (TA)/internal oblique (IO) and lumbo-sacral erector spinae (LSES) activation than did the SOD respectively. Effect size calculations revealed that these differences were of moderate to large magnitude (0.86, 0.48, and 0.61 respectively). There were no significant differences in muscular activation achieved between devices for the triceps brachii, biceps brachii and forearm flexor muscles. Exercise in the transverse plane resulted in 30.5%, 29.5%, and 19.5% greater activation than the sagittal and 21.8%, 17.2%, and 26.3% greater activation than the frontal plane for the anterior deltoid, TA/IO and LSES respectively.
A DOD demonstrated greater muscular activity for trunk and shoulder muscle activation but does not provide an advantage for limb activation. Overall, oscillating the devices in the transverse plane provided greater muscular activation of the anterior deltoid, TA/IO and LSES than use of the devices during frontal or sagittal plane movements.
2c: Outcomes research.
Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation is a common intervention to address muscle weakness, however presents with many limitations such as fatigue, muscle damage, and patient discomfort that may influence its effectiveness. One novel form of electrical stimulation purported to improve neuromuscular re-education is Patterned Electrical Neuromuscular Stimulation (PENS), which is proposed to mimic muscle-firing patterns of healthy individuals. PENS provides patterned stimulating to the agonist muscle, antagonist muscle and then agonist muscle again in an effort to replicate firing patterns.
The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a single PENS treatment on knee extension torque and quadriceps activation in individuals with quadriceps inhibition.
18 subjects (10 males and 8 females: 24.2±3.4 years, 175.3±11.8cm, 81.8±12.4kg) with a history of knee injury/pain participated in this double-blinded randomized controlled laboratory trial. Participants demonstrated quadriceps inhibition with a central activation ratio of ≤90%. Maximal voluntary isometric contraction of the quadriceps and central activation ratio were measured before and after treatment. The treatment intervention was a 15-minute patterned electrical stimulation applied to the quadriceps and hamstring muscles with a strong motor contraction or a sham group, who received an identical set up as the PENS group, but received a 1mA subsensory stimulation. A 2×2 (group × time) ANCOVA was used to determine differences in maximal voluntary isometric contraction and central activation ratio between groups. The maximal voluntary isometric contraction was selected as a covariate due to baseline differences.
There were no differences in change scores between pre- and post-intervention for maximal voluntary isometric contraction: (PENS: 0.09±0.32Nm/kg and Sham 0.15±0.18Nm/kg, p=0.713), or central activation ratio:(PENS: -1.22±6.06 and Sham: 1.48±3.7, p=0.270).
A single Patterned Electrical Neuromuscular Stimulation treatment did not alter quadriceps central activation ratio or maximal voluntary isometric contraction. Unlike other types of muscle stimulation, PENS did not result in a reduction of quadriceps torque.
The RAZOR curl has been introduced as a hamstring exercise. However, modifications to the exercise have been developed which are proposed to utilize some of the muscles of the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex. Thus, it was the purpose of this study to quantitatively examine the modified RAZOR curl using surface electromyography (sEMG), as an exercise that may recruit the trunk muscles of the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex.
Twenty-eight active male and female graduate students (24.2±1.3 years; 174.8±9.9 cm; 74.9±14.9 kg), consented to participate. Dependent variables were muscle activation of trunk musculature (dominant side gluteus medius, gluteus maximus, multifidus, longissimus, lower rectus abdominis, upper rectus abdominis, external obliques) reported as percent of maximum voluntary isometric contraction (%MVIC) during the exercise while the independent variable was the muscle selected.
The multifidus and longissimus demonstrated moderately strong activation (35-50%MVIC) while the upper rectus abdominis demonstrated strong activation (20-35%MVIC) and the gluteus medius, gluteus maximus, lower rectus abdominis, and external obliques had minimal activation.
These findings allow the practitioner to utilize an exercise that provides a functional training stimulus that activates not only the hamstrings but also some musculature of the trunk muscles of the lumbopelvic-hip complex at strong to moderately strong levels.
Poor activation of the serratus anterior (SA) muscle may result in abnormal shoulder rhythm, and secondarily contribute to impingement and rotator cuff tears. Sequential activation of the trunk, pelvis, and lower extremity (LE) muscles is required to facilitate the transfer of appropriate forces from these body segments to the upper extremity. Myofascial connections that exist in the body, and LE and trunk muscles (TM) activity may influence scapular and upper limb activity. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of simultaneous recruitment of the LE muscles and TM on the SA muscle activation when performing a forward punch plus (FPP) and six variations of the FPP exercise.
Experimental, within-subject repeated measures.
Surface electromyographic (EMG) activity of the SA, latissimus dorsi, and external oblique muscles on the dominant side, bilateral gluteus maximus muscles, and contra-lateral femoral adductor muscles were analyzed in forward punch plus (FPP) movement and six variations in twenty one healthy male adults. The percentage of maximum voluntary isometric contraction (%MVIC) for each muscle was compared across various exercises using a 1-way repeated -measures analysis of variance with Sidak pair wise comparison as post-hoc test (p < 0.05).
Pairwise comparisons found that the EMG activity of the serratus anterior (SA) during the FPP with contralateral closed chain leg extension (CCLE), FPP with ipsilateral closed chain leg extension (ICLE), FPP with closed chain serape effect (CS), and FPP with open chain serape effect (OS) showed significantly higher EMG activity than the FPP.
Simultaneous recruitment of the lower extremity and trunk muscles increases the activation of the SA muscle during the FPP exercise.
Rehabilitation clinicians should have understanding of the kinetic chain relationships between the LE, the trunk, and the upper extremity while prescribing exercises. The results of this study may improve clinicians' ability to integrate the kinetic chain model in a shoulder rehabilitation program.
Anterior knee pain is a clinical syndrome characterized by pain experienced perceived over the anterior aspect of the knee that can be aggravated by functional activities such as stair climbing and squatting. Two taping techniques commonly used for anterior knee pain in the clinic include the McConnell Taping Technique (MT) and the Kinesio Taping® Method (KT®).
The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of KT® and the MT versus no tape in subjects with anterior knee pain during a squat lift and stair climbing.
Pretest- posttest design.
A total of 20 subjects (15 female, 5 male) with unilateral anterior knee pain were recruited. The mean age of the subjects was 24 (+/-3) years, with a mean weight of 160 (+/-28) pounds.
Each participant was tested during two functional activities; a squat lift with a weighted box (10% of his/her body weight, plus the weight [8.5 pounds] of the box) and stair climbing under three conditions: 1) no tape, 2) MT and 3) KT®. Pain levels were assessed (verbally) using the 0-10 Numeric Pain Intensity Scale.
The median (interquartile range [IQR]) pain during squat lift was 2 (2.75) for no tape, 1 (1) for KT®, and 0.5 (2) for McConnell, with no significant differences between the groups. During the stair activity the median (IQR) pain was 1.5 (2.75) for no tape, 1 (1.75) for KT®, and 1 (1.75) for MT with a significant difference (p=0.024) between the groups. Further analysis determined that the only a significant difference was (p=0.034) between the no tape and the KT® conditions.
The results of this study found that both the KT® and the MT may be effective in reducing pain during stair climbing activities.
Level 2, Prospective Cohort study.
The acute anterior dislocation of the glenohumeral joint (GHJ) poses a challenge to sports medicine providers at all levels and in all settings. This macrotraumatic injury occurs in athletes who participate in a wide variety of sports, most typically as a result of contact or collision mechanisms. Quick and effective relocation of the GHJ is an important skill for on the sideline or on the field management of this type of dislocation when appropriate and allowable by facility protocol. This clinical suggestion describes one possible technique for athlete self-reduction that may be appropriate in some circumstances. This is in contrast to forcible reduction by the health professional, which is outside of the scope of this clinical commentary.
Level of evidence:
Some physical therapists (PTs) provide services at sporting events, but there are limited studies investigating whether PTs are properly prepared to provide such services. The purpose of this study was to assess acute sports injury and medical condition management decision-making skills of PTs.
A Web-based survey presented 17 case scenarios related to acute medical conditions and sport injuries. PTs from the Sports Physical Therapy Section of The American Physical Therapy Association were e-mailed a cover letter/Web link to the survey and invited to participate over a 30-day period. Data were analyzed using SPSS 18.0.
A total of 411 of 5158 PTs who were members of the Sports Physical Therapy Association in 2009 and had valid e-mail addresses completed the survey, of which 389 (7.5%) were appropriate for analysis. Over 75.0% of respondents felt "prepared" or "somewhat prepared" to provide immediate care for 13 out of 16 medical conditions, with seizures, spinal cord injuries, and internal organ injuries having the lowest percentages. Over 75.0% of the respondents made "appropriate" or "overly cautious" decisions for 11 of the 17 acute injury or medical condition cases.
Results of the current study indicate that PTs felt more "prepared" and tended to make "appropriate" return to play decisions on the acute sports injury and medical condition case studies more often than coaches who participated in a similar study, regardless of level of importance of the game or whether the athlete was a starter vs. non-starter. However, for PTs who plan on assisting at sporting events, additional preparation/education may be recommended, such as what is taught in an emergency responder course.
Throwing athletes are at high risk for elbow injuries. The ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of the elbow, in particular, must resist large valgus forces during the throwing motion. An acute UCL sprain requires the sports medicine professional on the sidelines to thoroughly assess the injury and reach a return-to-play decision in a timely manner. A sports medicine professional who makes an accurate diagnosis, reaches a correct return-to-play decision, and initiates early treatment gives the athlete the best chance for a rapid, successful return to their sport.
Due to the repetitive rotational and distractive forces exerted onto the posterior shoulder during the deceleration phase of the overhead throwing motion, limited glenohumeral (GH) range of motion (ROM) is a common trait found among baseball players, making them prone to a wide variety of shoulder injuries. Although utilization of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM), such as the Graston® Technique, has proven effective for various injuries and disorders, there is currently no empirical data regarding the effectiveness of this treatment on posterior shoulder tightness.
To determine the effectiveness of IASTM in improving acute passive GH horizontal adduction and internal rotation ROM in collegiate baseball players.
Thirty-five asymptomatic collegiate baseball players were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Seventeen participants received one application of IASTM to the posterior shoulder in between pretest and posttest measurements of passive GH horizontal adduction and internal rotation ROM. The remaining 18 participants did not receive a treatment intervention between tests, serving as the controls. Data were analyzed using separate 2× 2 mixed-model analysis of variance, with treatment group as the between-subjects variable and time as the within-subjects variable.
A significant group-by-time interaction was present for GH horizontal adduction ROM with the IASTM group showing greater improvements in ROM (11.1°) compared to the control group (-0.12°) (p <0.001). A significant group-by-time interaction was also present for GH internal rotation ROM with the IASTM group having greater improvements (4.8°) compared to the control group (-0.14°) (p < 0.001).
The results of this study indicate that an application of IASTM to the posterior shoulder provides acute improvements in both GH horizontal adduction ROM and internal rotation ROM among baseball players.
Neck pain is a common complaint treated by the physical therapist. Trigger points (TrPs) have been studied as a source of neuromusculoskeletal pain, though the ability of clinicians to accurately locate a TrP is not well supported. Dry needling (DN) is an intervention utilized by physical therapists where a monofilament needle is inserted into soft tissue in order to reduce pain thereby facilitating return to prior level of function. The purpose of this case report is to report the outcomes of DN as a primary treatment intervention for acute, non-specific cervical region pain.
The subject was an active 64-year-old female who self- referred for cervical pain following lifting heavy boxes while moving into a new home. She had a history of multi-level cervical fusion and recurrent cervical pain that physical therapy helped to control over the past few years. Physical examination supported a diagnosis of acute cervical region strain. Objective findings included decreased cervical active range of motion (AROM) and upper extremity strength, as well as, reproduction of pain symptoms upon palpation indicating the likelihood of TrPs in the right upper trapezius, levator scapula, supraspinatus, and infraspinatus musculature. She was treated using DN to the aforementioned muscles for two sessions, and no other interventions were performed in order to determine the effectiveness of DN as a primary intervention strategy without other interventions masking the effects of DN.
Clinically meaningful improvements were noted in pain and disability, as measured by the Neck Disability Index and Quadruple Visual Analog Scale. Physical examination denoted minimal to no change in cervical AROM (likely associated with multi-level fusion), except for right lateral flexion, and no change in shoulder flexion/ abduction MMT.
The patient was able to return to daily and work activities without further functional limitations caused by pain. This case report shows promising outcomes for the use of DN in the treatment of non-specific cervical region strain. Further research is recommended to determine if DN is clinically beneficial independent of other therapeutic interventions/ postural corrections such as general or specific exercises targeting the affected musculature, or other "manual" therapy techniques such as manipulation or non-thrust mobilization.
To compare the acute effects of two passive stretches on pectoralis minor length and scapular kinematics among a group of collegiate swimmers.
The study was a descriptive design with repeated measures. All procedures were conducted in a biomechanics laboratory and collegiate swimming facility. Fifty asymptomatic shoulders from 29 NCAA swimmers were used (15 control shoulders, 17 focused stretch shoulders, 18 gross stretch shoulders). Pre- and post-test linear pectoralis minor length, as well as scapular kinematics (upward/downward rotation, external/internal rotation, anterior/posterior tilt) were measured as dependent variables. Pectoralis minor length was measured using a standard tape measure and three-dimensional scapular kinematics were measured using an electromagnetic capture system.
The gross stretch shoulders had a significant increase in pectoralis minor length compared to the control shoulders (P=.007). There were no other significant changes in length for either the focused stretch or control shoulders (P>.07). No statistically significant (P>.08) differences for all three scapular kinematic variables were found among any of the three groups (P>.08).
Our results revealed no acute improvements of scapular upward rotation, external rotation, or posterior tilt after the application of either passive stretch maneuver to the pectoralis minor muscle.
To analyze the effectiveness of the American Red Cross Emergency Response Course (ARC ERC) in improving decision-making skills of physical therapists (PTs) and third semester clinical doctorate student physical therapists (SPTs) when assessing acute sports injuries and medical conditions.
An existing questionnaire was modified, with permission from the original authors of the instrument. The questionnaire was administered to PTs and SPTs before the start of and immediately after the completion of 5 different ARC ERCs. The overall percentages of "Appropriate" responses for the 17 case scenarios were calculated for each participant for the pre-and post-tests. Participants also rated their perceived level of preparedness for managing various conditions using a 5-point Likert Scale (ranging from Prepared to Unprepared). The overall percentage of "Prepared/Somewhat Prepared" responses for the 16 medical conditions was calculated for each participant for the pre-and post-tests. In addition, mean Likert scale scores were calculated for level of perceived preparedness for each of the 16 medical conditions. Paired t-tests, calculated with SPSS 20.0, were used to analyze the data.
37 of 37 (100.0%) of eligible PTs and 45 of 48 (93.8%) of eligible SPTs completed the pre- and post-test questionnaires. The percentage of "Appropriate" responses for all 17 cases in the aggregate (PTs: 76.8% pre-test, 89.0% post-test; SPTs: 68.5%, 84.3%), as well as the percentage of "Prepared/Somewhat Prepared" responses for all conditions in the aggregate (PTs: 67.5%, 96.5%; SPTs: 37.1%, 90.6%) were significantly different from pre-test to post-test (P = .000). There was also a significant difference (P < .05) in the mean overall preparedness Likert scale scores from pre-test to post-test for each medical condition for the SPT's, and 15 of the 16 medical conditions (muscle strains: P = .119) for the PTs.
The ARC ERC appears to be effective in improving both PTs' and SPTs' decision-making skills related to acute sports injuries and medical conditions, as both "Appropriate" responses and perceived level of preparedness improved.
Isolated fractures involving the first rib are rare and often difficult to diagnose. There is a paucity of literature regarding isolated fractures and even fewer reported cases involving those due to contact. The purpose of this case report is to describe the mechanism of injury, differential diagnosis, rehabilitation, and return to sport decision making for an isolated first rib fracture secondary to acute trauma in a collegiate football player.
An 18 year-old right-hand dominant male collegiate football player was involved in a facemask-to-facemask collision during a football game while playing defensive back. His chief complaint during the sideline evaluation was left-sided neck and shoulder pain with concomitant clicking reported with active movement of his left shoulder.
A musculoskeletal ultrasound performed in the training room suggested a possible scapular spine fracture. However, a subsequent magnetic resonance image revealed an acute isolated anterolateral fracture of the first rib. The subject was treated conservatively with extensive rehabilitation and was able to return to full participation for summer training camp as well as the fall football season at the same level of play as prior to injury.
An isolated first rib fracture is extremely rare due to the unique anatomical location of the first rib posterior to the clavicle, as well as the surrounding shoulder girdle and associated layer of musculature. Identifying this injury can be challenging due to vaguely reported symptoms and the paucity of reported incidences. In the setting of an isolated injury, conservative management including structured rehabilitation can lead to successful outcomes and return to play. This is the first published rehabilitation guideline for an acute isolated first-rib fracture secondary to trauma.
4 - Single case report.
The potential adverse effects of static stretching on athletic performance are well documented, but still appears to be controversial, especially as they relates to sprinting. The prevalence of this practice is demonstrated by the number of competitive and recreational athletes who regularly engage in stretching immediately prior to sprinting with the mindset of optimizing their performance. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of acute static, dynamic, and ballistic stretching, and no stretching of the iliopsoas muscle on 40-yard sprint times in 18-37 year-old non-competitive, recreational runners.
Twenty-five healthy recreational runners (16 male and 9 female) between the ages of 24 and 35 (Mean = 26.76 yrs., SD = 2.42 yrs.) completed this study. A repeated measures design was used, which consisted of running a 40-yard sprint trial immediately following each of 4 different stretching conditions aimed at the iliopsoas muscle and lasting 1 minute each. The 4 conditions were completed in a randomized order within a 2-week time period, allowing 48-72 hours between each condition. Prior to each 40-yard sprint trial, a 5-minute walking warm-up was performed at 3.5 mph on a treadmill. The subject then ran a baseline 40-yard sprint. After a 10-minute self-paced walk, each subject performed one of the 4 stretching conditions (ballistic, dynamic, static, and no stretch) and then immediately ran a timed 40-yard sprint.
There was a significant interaction between stretching conditions and their effects on sprint times, F(3,72) = 9.422, p<.0005. To break down this interaction, simple main effects were performed with 2 repeated measures ANOVAs and 4 paired t-tests using a Bonferroni corrected alpha (α = .0083). There were no significant differences between the 4 pre-condition times, p = 0.103 (Greenhouse-Geisser) or the post-condition times, p = 0.029. In the no stretch condition, subjects improved significantly from pre- to post- sprint times (p<0.0005). There were no statistically significant differences in pre- and post-stretch condition sprint times among the static (p = 0.804), ballistic (p = 0.217), and dynamic (p = 0.022) stretching conditions.
Sprint performance may show greatest improvement without stretching and through the use of a walking generalized warmup on a treadmill. These findings have clinically meaningful implications for runners who include iliopsoas muscle stretching as a component of the warm-up.
Head injuries, including concussions, in athletes can account for an extended period of time lost from sports competition. Neurocognitive and balance deficits which may linger following a concussion affect an athlete's ability to return to sport safely. If these deficits are not specifically addressed in a rehabilitation program then the athlete may be at risk for not only additional concussions but possible musculoskeletal injury. ImPACT testing is a reliable method for identifying neurocognitive deficits and assists in the development of a neurocognitive training program. The information gathered from ImPACT may also indicate risk for musculoskeletal injuries. Research evidence suggesting specific rehabilitation strategies and interventions addressing neurocognitive deficits following a concussion is lacking. Progressions in a neurocognitive training program may include the integration of balance, reaction training, and activities that address memory deficits. The purpose of this case report is to discuss the evaluation and treatment plan for a female snowboard athlete following a concussion.
Several examination tests are currently used for diagnosing a supraspinatus lesion. The empty can (EC) test is currently considered the gold standard for testing, but full can (FC) testing is also utilized. Both of these tests do not fully eliminate the deltoid synergistic when resistance is applied. A new diagonal horizontal adduction (DHA) technique has been developed for evaluation of the supraspinatus that has not yet been compared with the existing techniques (EC/FC). Cross-sectional analysis (CSA) change during contraction as an ultrasonographic means of visualizing and measuring contraction of the supraspinatus has been reported previously.
The purpose of this study was to use diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSK) to compare CSA of the supraspinatus during the FC, EC, and the DHA tests.
The supraspinatus muscle of 37 healthy, uninjured volunteers (21 males and 16 females, mean age of 26.9) were visualized and CSA was captured during 4 randomly assigned test positions (including control) using MSK.
A one-way Analysis of Variance with repeated measures of the mean CSA obtained in the testing positions was performed followed by least significant difference (LSD) for post-hoc analysis. Significant differences (p < 0.05) were found between the mean CSA of the controls and the CSA of each of the three testing procedures analyzed using the MSK. There were no significant differences (p < 0.05) in CSA between any of the three testing procedures.
In this study, MSK visualized and objectified activity of the supraspinatus muscle as evidenced through increased mean CSA when resisted. All the testing positions (FC, EC, and DHA) demonstrated significantly increased mean CSA of the muscle when isometrically contracted when compared to the resting control. The DHA procedure also elicited significant increase in CSA of the supraspinatus. However, no significant difference was found between the CSA of the DHA when compared to the FC and EC tests.
Lumbopelvic-femoral conditions are common and may be associated with asymmetrical musculoskeletal and respiratory impairments and postural mal-alignment called a Left Anterior Interior Chain (AIC) pattern. An inherent pattern of asymmetry involves the trunk/ribs/spine/pelvis/hip joints and includes the tendency to stand on the right leg and shift the center of gravity to the right which may result for example, in a tight left posterior hip capsule, poorly approximated left hip, long/weak left adductors, internal obliques (IO) and transverse abdominus (TA), short/strong/over active paraspinals and muscles on the right anterior outlet (adductors, levator ani and obturator internus), a left rib flare and a decreased respiratory diaphragm zone of apposition (ZOA).
A therapeutic exercise technique that can address impairments associated with postural asymmetry may be beneficial in improving function, reducing and/or eliminating pain causation, and improving breathing. The Right Sidelying Left Respiratory Adductor Pull Back is an exercise designed to affect alignment of the lumbopelvic-femoral region by influencing the left posterior ischiofemoral ligament, ZOA and right anterior outlet and left anterior inlet (rectus femoris, sartorius), activating/shortening the left adductors, left IO/TA's and inhibiting/lengthening the paraspinals, bilaterally.
The exercise technique is often used by Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist assistants and Athletic Trainers as an initial exercise to positively affect position/alignment of the lumbopelvic-femoral region, referred to as "repositioning," by clinicians who use it. Four published case studies have used similar exercises to address the above impairments associated with a Left AIC pattern and in each 100% improvement in function and pain intensity was described. This particular exercise technique is relatively new and warrants future research.
Adherence to rehabilitation is widely accepted as vital for recovery and return to play following sports injuries. Medical management of concussion is centered around physical and cognitive rest, a theory largely based on expert opinion, not empirical evidence. Current research on this topic focuses on factors that are predictive of adherence to rehabilitation, but fails to examine if patient adherence leads to a better outcome. The purpose of this study was to determine the adherence tendencies of adolescents to treatment recommendations provided by a sports-medicine physician after a concussion and to determine if adherence to each recommendation was a predictor of treatment duration.
Participants were enrolled in the study at their initial visit to the Sports-Medicine Center for medical care after a sports-related concussion. Individual treatment recommendations provided by a sports-medicine physician for concussion were recorded over the course of each participant's care. Once released from medical care, each participant was contacted to complete an online questionnaire to measure self-reported adherence tendencies to each treatment recommendation. Adherence was measured by two constructs: 1) the reported receptivity to the recommendation and 2) the frequency of following the recommendation. Exploratory univariate Poisson regression analyses were used to describe the relationship between adherence behaviors and the number of days of treatment required before the participant was returned to play.
Fifty-six questionnaires were completed, by 30 male and 26 female adolescent athletes. The self-reported adherence tendencies were very high. None of the measures of adherence to the treatment recommendations were significant predictors of the number of days of treatment; however, there was a clear tendency in five of the six rest parameters (physical rest, cognitive rest with restrictions from electronics, and cognitive rest with restrictions from school), where high levels of adherence to rest resulted in an increased average number of days of treatment (slower recovery) and those who reported being less adherent recovered faster.
Adolescents were generally adherent to the physician recommendations. Those participants who reported being less adherent to physical and cognitive rest generally recovered faster than those who reported higher levels of adherence to these recommendations. As time progresses after the initial injury, physical and mental rest may be less effective to hasten recovery than more active treatment recommendations.
Researchers have observed differences in muscle activity patterns between males and females during functional exercises. The research methods employed have used various step heights and lunge distances to assess functional exercise making gender comparisons difficult. The purpose of this study was to examine core and lower extremity muscle activity between genders during single-limb exercises using adjusted distances and step heights based on a percentage of the participant's height.
Twenty men and 20 women who were recreationally active and healthy participated in the study. Two-dimensional video and surface electromyography (SEMG) were used to assess performance during three exercise maneuvers (step down, forward lunge, and side-step lunge). Eight muscles were assessed using SEMG (rectus abdominus, external oblique, erector spinae, rectus femoris, tensor fascia latae, gluteus medius, gluteus maximus, biceps femoris). Maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVIC) were used for each muscle and expressed as %MVIC to normalize SEMG to account for body mass differences. Exercises were randomized and distances were normalized to the participant's lower limb length. Descriptive statistics, mixed-model ANOVA, and ICCs with 95% confidence intervals were calculated.
Males were taller, heavier, and had longer leg length when compared to the females. No differences in %MVIC activity were found between genders by task across the eight muscles. For both males and females, the step down task resulted in higher %MVIC for gluteus maximus compared to lunge, (p=0.002). Step down exercise produced higher %MVIC for gluteus medius than lunge (p=0.002) and side step (p=0.006). ICC(3,3) ranged from moderate to high (0.74 to 0.97) for the three tasks.
Muscle activation among the eight muscles was similar between females and males during the lunge, side-step, and step down tasks, with distances adjusted to leg length. Both males and females elicited higher muscle activity for gluteus maximus and gluteus medius as compared to the trunk, hip flexors, or hamstring muscles. However these values were well below the recruitment levels necessary for strengthening in both genders.