Athletes come in many different shapes, sizes, and abilities. What is a “perfect” movement for one may not be “perfect” for another. Because of this, we focus on maximizing the foundations of movement like strength, rate of force development, and appropriate coordination. These are the known deficits that commonly remain after ACL reconstruction, specifically in those having difficulty returning to sport.
The ability of a muscle to generate force (strength) and the speed at which it produces it (rate of force development) has been shown to be predictive of movement flaws, injuries, and difficulty returning to sport. To test this, we use an isokinetic dynamometer.
A dynamometer is a device that measures force. Our machine measures the real-time force production of the muscle through its full arc of motion and feeds it into a computer for analysis. From this we can compare the force output of one arm or leg to the other side. We can also compare to averages based on body weight and sport.
Findings from an isokinetic dynamometer can be very surprising, often showing dramatic deficits that are well below the threshold of a safe return to play. This in combination with a myriad of functional tests guide the rehab process to assure the athlete does not return to their sport until they demonstrate the minimum risk profile as we currently understand it.
This is an integrated part of the rehab process for those under our direct guidance, but we also offer this service as an isolated test. This is available for individuals but we also offer group rates for screening full sports teams. We keep a permanent electronic record of every session and individuals get a full printed report or PDF document that they can keep for themselves. Each session also includes a personal review of the data with Dr. Meira.