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New program looks to curb Watertown ACL injuries

Xavier Smith • Jun 16, 2017 at 8:30 AM

A collaborative effort has lead to a new program introduced at Watertown High School that will look to curb ACL injuries within the school’s girls’ basketball program.

The program is a first of its kind partnership between Select Physical Therapy, Watertown High School, Tennova Healthcare and team physician Dr. Jon Cornelius, of Hughston Clinic Orthopaedics, in an effort to curb ACL and lower body injuries by using DorsaVi 3D motion tracking technology and the ViMove Athletic Movement Index (AMI) to reduce the risk of injury.

Nationally, female athletes exceed male athletes in ACL injuries almost 9 to 1, according to Cornelius. However, Watertown athletic trainer Carl Newton said the program has averaged one to two ACL injuries a year for about eight years, which led to the idea to bring the program to Watertown.

“For the last couple of seasons, we’ve seen an unusual amount of ACL injuries, specifically from the girls basketball team. Carl and I have worked on trying to prevent injuries instead of working on them after the fact,” Cornelius said.

DorsaVi is a wearable sensor technology that uses 3D analysis to provide objective data on movement, while the ViMove AMI is a comprehensible biomechanical assessment that evaluates areas of weakness, tightness and improper movement patterns.

During baseline testing, athletes perform a series of movements while wearing the technology to produce real-time data. Following the baseline testing, Select’s clinical team will use the collected data to create corrective exercise programs to address each player’s movement deficiencies in order to decrease risk of injury and improve performance.

“Once we know how they move, we can predict their injury risk because we know the movement patterns that are associated with risk, particularly for lower extremities,” said Grant Shanks with Select Physical Therapy.

Shanks said the program launched last August. Others taking advantage of the program include the New York Giants, Samford University and other major college programs.

Select Physical Therapy conducted the baseline tests for free, while Tennova covered the cost for each kit.

“We’re going to do this during the offseason program for basketball in the summer and fall, and right before the season starts, we’re going to test them again to see how much growth they’ve had and continue to do it throughout the season,” Newton said.

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