Return to Play Testing

Return to Play Testing

Tearing or spraining the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is one of the most common injuries caused by sport participation. According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), between 100,000 and 200,000 ACL reconstruction procedures are done each year. In these procedures, a surgeon uses tissue from the knee to make a new ligament in order to stabilize the knee and help the athlete return to sports and exercise.

Following an ACL injury, your physician will refer you to a Physical Therapist (PT) for rehabilitation, then work collaboratively with the PT to ensure that you are ready to resume your sport of choice.

Spear Physical Therapy performs evidence-based testing to help determine your readiness for returning to sports after ACL reconstruction. Without proper rehabilitation and return to play assessment, there is a very high likelihood of injury to the involved or even the uninvolved limb. “Return to Play” is also referred to as “Return to  Sport.”

Who Can Benefit from Return to Play Testing?

Every athlete requires an individual intervention and testing program based on his/her goals and sport. ACL Return to Play Testing (also known as “RTP Testing”) is especially important for sports that involve pivoting and cutting, such as tennis, squash, soccer and basketball.

In addition to RTP Testing for ACL injuries, our therapists may also conduct Y-balance tests for other lower extremity injuries, such as twisted ankles in runners. (Note: this is not the same as RTP testing, which is much more in-depth and involves several other measurements to make a determination.)

Sports, ACL Injury & Return To Play

According to a study of high school athletes published in the National Institutes of Health’s Journal of Athletic Training, boys and girls share similar rates of ACL injury. During the study period (the academic years 2007-8 and 2011-12), there were more than 200,000 ACL injuries reported for student athletes from 100 U.S. high schools. The highest incidence of ACL injuries were:

  • Girls’ soccer
  • Football
  • Girls’ basketball

When analyzed by gender, most boys injured an ACL playing Football, Soccer, and Basketball, while most girls did so playing Soccer, Basketball and Softball. (Adults follow similar lines when it comes to sports-related ACL injuries. The top sports for ACL injuries in adults? Basketball, soccer, football and skiing.)

How Does Return to Play Testing Work?

No matter what your sport, in order to evaluate readiness for return to play, we’ll first spend 20-30 minutes running and doing plyometrics in order to fatigue your muscles. In this fatigued state, we will perform a variety of evidence-based tests, which can take up to 60 minutes. Tests include:

  • Hop testing
  • Y-balance testing
  • Quad strength and endurance measurements
  • Movement efficiency with jumping and cutting
  • Personalized assessment of the athlete’s limb confidence for returning to sports

Once testing is complete, we provide a comprehensive ACL Return-to-Play report that will assist your physician and other members of the sports medicine team in determining your readiness for returning to sports without any increased risk of injury.

What Happens If You Are NOT Ready to Return to Play?

If your Return to Play testing concludes that you are NOT yet ready to play sports, SPEAR ACL injury prevention therapy (strength training, plyometric training, and working on hopping and mechanics) will get you back to life, fast.

Note: The ideal time to consider Return to Play Testing is 9-12 months after ACL reconstruction surgery. (If there is anything worse than an ACL tear, it is a re-tear.) Most RTP patients come to SPEAR via physician referrals. However, anyone can come to Spear for ACL Return to Play Testing, with or without a referral.

How Much Does Return to Play Cost?

Return to Play testing is billed through insurance like a regular physical therapy session.

 

Therapists offering Return to Play Testing
Leke Abiodun, PT, DPT
Leke Abiodun headshot
Leke Abiodun, PT, DPT
Mohit Birdi, PT, DPT, CSCS
Mohit Birdi headshot
Mohit Birdi, PT, DPT, CSCS
Jamie Bredahl, PT, DPT
Jamie Bredahl Headshot
Jamie Bredahl, PT, DPT
Tori Canning, PT, DPT, CSCS
Tori Canning headshot
Tori Canning, PT, DPT, CSCS
Timothy Caputo, PT, DPT, TPI L1
Timothy Caputo headshot
Timothy Caputo, PT, DPT, TPI L1
Juan Correa, PT, DPT, OCS, ATC
Juan Correa headshot
Juan Correa, PT, DPT, OCS, ATC
Jeremy Crow, PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS, ART
Jeremy Crow headshot
Jeremy Crow, PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS, ART
ART, CSCS, DPT, PT, SCS
Morgan Garris, PT, DPT, ATC
Morgan Garris headshot
Morgan Garris, PT, DPT, ATC
Leanna Gearhart, PT, DPT, MS, OCS
Leanna Gearhart headshot
Leanna Gearhart, PT, DPT, MS, OCS
DPT, MS, OCS, PT
Camryn Gessner, PT, DPT, AIB-VR/CON
Camryn Gessner headshot
Camryn Gessner, PT, DPT, AIB-VR/CON
Jamie Golubitsky, PT, DPT, OCS
Jamie Golubitsky headshot
Jamie Golubitsky, PT, DPT, OCS
Kyle Houghtaling, DPT
Kyle Houghtaling headshot
Kyle Houghtaling, DPT
DPT
Kara Kaplan, PT, DPT, OCS
Kara Kaplan headshot
Kara Kaplan, PT, DPT, OCS
Joseph Kim, PT, DPT
Joseph Kim headshot
Joseph Kim, PT, DPT
DPT, PT
Jeremy Klapper, PT, DPT, MS
Jeremy Klapper Headshot
Jeremy Klapper, PT, DPT, MS
DPT, MS, PT
Matthew Klayman, PT, DPT, OCS
Matthew Klayman headshot
Matthew Klayman, PT, DPT, OCS
Kyle Koelsch, PT, DPT, CSCS
Kyle Koelsch headshot
Kyle Koelsch, PT, DPT, CSCS
CSCS, DPT, PT
Anant Kulkarni, PT, DPT, CLT
Anant Kulkarni Headshot
Anant Kulkarni, PT, DPT, CLT
Jay Kwon, PT, DPT, CSCS
Jay Kwon headshot
Jay Kwon, PT, DPT, CSCS
Kevin Lapham, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
Kevin Lapham headshot
Kevin Lapham, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
CSCS, DPT, OCS, PT
Grant Levermore, PT, DPT
Grant Levermore headshot
Grant Levermore, PT, DPT
DPT, PT
Justin Lugtu, PT, DPT, CSCS
Justin Lugtu headshot
Justin Lugtu, PT, DPT, CSCS
Alyse Myers, PT, DPT, OCS, ATC
Alyse Myers headshot
Alyse Myers, PT, DPT, OCS, ATC
ATC, DPT, OCS, PT
Kathleen O'Donnell-Pickert, OTR/L, CHT
Kathleen O'Donnell-Pickert headshot
Kathleen O'Donnell-Pickert, OTR/L, CHT
Joshua Rieders, PT, DPT, CSCS
Joshua Rieders headshot
Joshua Rieders, PT, DPT, CSCS
CSCS, DPT, PT
Daniel Romeo, PT, DPT, CSCS, TPI I
Daniel Romeo headshot
Daniel Romeo, PT, DPT, CSCS, TPI I
CSCS, DPT, PT, TPI Level 1
Michelle Rooney, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
Michelle Rooney headshot
Michelle Rooney, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
Trisha Sheth, PT, DPT
Trisha sheth headshot
Trisha Sheth, PT, DPT
DPT, PT
Gabby Skolnik, PT, DPT, ATC
Gabby Skolnik headshot
Gabby Skolnik, PT, DPT, ATC
Clyde Staley, PT, DPT, CSCS
Clyde Staley headshot
Clyde Staley, PT, DPT, CSCS
Kyle Veltre, PT, DPT
Kyle Veltre headshot
Kyle Veltre, PT, DPT
DPT, PT
Michael Virgile, PT, DPT, CSCS
Michael Virgile headshot
Michael Virgile, PT, DPT, CSCS
Keith Weinberg, PT, DPT, CSCS
Keith Weinberg Headshot
Keith Weinberg, PT, DPT, CSCS
Emily Yong, PT, DPT
Emily Yong headshot
Emily Yong, PT, DPT
DPT, PT
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