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RECAP: ACL Talk W/ Dr. Zach Baker

Dr. Zachary Baker, DPT, SCS hosted a Community Lecture at our Frederick location.  Dr. Baker’s seminar was titled “Understanding, Rehabilitating and Training Strategies for ACL Injuries” and covered topics such as prevalence and prevalence of the injury, factors influencing surgical options and modern approaches to the management of ACL reconstruction and injury prevention.  This topic is of special interest to him as he possesses extensive personal and professional experience in the manner.  Dr. Baker suffered two ACL injuries while in high school and it has become his mission to make sure those who unfortunately sustain the injury, are equipped with the proper information and rehab protocols to ensure safe return to play at a high level.  In the last two years, his volume of ACL patients has grown to a point where it is nearly half of his treatment schedule.

The most significantly emphasized messages from the lecture were the concepts of “Criterion Based Rehabilitation” and “Functional Return to Sport Testing”. Criterion based rehabilitation refers to use of objective and subjective measures that can be utilized to gauge a patient’s progress.  The measures are then utilized to determine if a patient is able to progress towards the next phase of their rehab.  Typically, certain timelines (i.e. weeks, months, etc) had been utilized.  While many patients do hit certain milestones within these timelines, not all individuals fall within these norms and the premature progression into the next phase of rehab can impede their ability to move optimally and potentially place them at larger risk for injury.

Functional Return to Sport Testing is a battery of tests utilized prior to an athlete being cleared for full return to physical activity and athletics.  The tests look at movement quality and capacity. They are multifactorial and cover everything including, but not limited to, range of motion, strength and stability, proprioception/coordination, power and sport specific movements such as running, jumping and cutting.  Overall physical condition is taken into account as well with a conditioning test catered towards your sport/activities demands.

The event was well attended with an audience that included physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, chiropractors, athletic trainers, personal trainers, physical therapy students, local athletes, parents and coaches.

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