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Carle McLean County Orthopedics’ Return to Play Program

ReturnToPlay12.10.21

 They say it's all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Luckily, our Carle McLean County Orthopedics team can help your athlete get back in the game. Just like it takes a team to play sports, we take a team approach to help return athletes to play.

Our return to play program will allow you to return from an injury stronger than ever before. The program supports those who have suffered from various sports injuries and gets them back in the game. We have a specific program for those recovering from ACL surgeries, but the return to play program is not just limited to that. The program is offered to athletes with various injuries that want to return to the sport they love. If necessary, this program runs from the injury through the surgery and doesn't end until you are back to full performance and competition. It is a combined effort of physical therapy, one-on-one attention with a personal trainer, and group training at the performance center. Additionally, athletes receive information on nutrition, recovery, sleep, and metabolic testing.

The medical team and physical therapists will lead during the recovery process. Still, they will collaborate with sports performance trainers at the Fitness Center as you get ready for more sport-specific movements. Every athlete has the option of a three, five, or seven-month therapy-driven program tailored to the specific sport. The athlete will meet with the CMCO team throughout their personalized program and recovery. The return to play program also provides athletes access to the wellness center for independent conditioning. From there, the athlete will move on to the performance center with a one-on-one sports performance trainer. Finally, the program ends by progressing the athlete to group training before returning to competitive sports.

The program is based on current evidence and performance-based benchmarks to help with readiness to progress to the next recovery phase. Initially, our goal is to restore full motion to the involved area and improve functional movement patterns during therapy. Throughout the process, as you progress and get closer to returning to the gym or field, our therapy team will use a battery of sports testing to track progress, strength, and function. Sport testing includes force plates, sEMG data, 3D motion analysis, and Functional Movement System (FMS) testing. We can analyze force and power production from this information and compare the difference between the injured and uninvolved leg through different movement patterns. We can also compare your functional performance to other athletes in your age range and play the same sport to help assess the risk of injury if you were to return to play at that time. The end goal is to achieve symmetrical performance through both legs. Once this is achieved, we have improved confidence that you can return to fun and games with a decreased risk of getting hurt again.

If you are missing time away from the field or court due to injury, give us a call at 309.663.6567 and let us help you get back into the game.

Click here to find out more information or you can find us by visiting our YouTube channel.

- Summary from "Getting back in the game!" article submitted by Alissa Recker, DPT, OCS Carle McLean County Orthopedics

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