OrthoSouth deploys athletic trainers to twelve area schools with approximately 2000 athletes. As part of their outreach program, they offer baseline testing for four major sports basketball, football, baseball, soccer and some others for baseline testing and objective data collection. This data is compared to GPS data and is used to monitor fatigue, determine game/practice readiness and assess return to play level.
D. Martin Scruggs II, LAT, ATC, CSCS, C-PS, CES, PN1, ITAT is the Director of Sports Medicine Outreach at OrthoSouth. In this case study, Martin Scruggs shares his experience with using the VALD technology systems as part of OrthoSouth’s outreach program.
How the outreach program works
Memphis-based orthopedic group, OrthoSouth, commenced their outreach program in 2009. Since then they have developed a legacy of providing a renowned athletic training service to schools across the Mid-South.
Martin Scruggs is the Director of Sports Medicine Outreach at OrthoSouth and oversees the running of the program across twelve schools. “OrthoSouth has three divisions branded together. Our division has seventeen athletic trainers employed. We have twelve different schools we work, one college and the rest are high schools. Some schools have multiple athletic trainers employed and some just have one.” said Scruggs.
The program is designed to ensure ROI with the ultimate goal of OrthoSouth being the provider of choice. “We have contracts with the schools that help to offset costs. We hope to win the right to be the provider of choice for the athletes and the community we work in. But obviously, there are factors such as previous relationships, insurance, and such that also affects this process.” said Scruggs.
Using an athlete’s baseline data
OrthoSouth collects data pre-injury to determine norms and predict injury risk. “We are trying to see if the athlete is more at risk for potential injury. We are collecting data to see what the norms are for these groups of athletes. There is data in the literature to speak of older and more mature athletes but not always for this age group. We use the data to look at bilateral inefficiency and possible risk of injury. We also use HumanTrak data to look at changes with athletes who have a possible concussion.” said Scruggs.
The information is used to better inform decision making and improve training programs. “By collecting this data, I am able to go to the coaches and folks that make the changes, strength coaches, etc, and show a potential increase for injury. I can show bilateral weaknesses and more. It is great to assist in creating actual change that could be needed.” said Scruggs.
VALD technology battery of tests
OrthoSouth uses four of VALD’s technology systems in their testing. This includes:
- Humantrak – tandom and semi-tandom stand,
star excursion balance test, sit-to-stand and
- Nordbord – Nordic.
- ForceFrame – hip adduction/abduction 60°.
- ForceDecks – CMJ, hop and return, single-leg
land and hold.
Scruggs explains they are in the process of interpreting this data before expanding the tests “we are trying to understand this data first and then will expand the battery of testing.”
Covid-19’s impact on the program
OrthoSouth quickly pivoted to protective gear and taking temperatures when restrictions hit. Further to VALD’s human measurement technologies, OrthoSouth has also implemented TeleHab Exercise Prescription App to remotely monitor athletes. “TeleHab enables us to keep our athletes in the best shape possible, with customised programs for each sport. The athletes can upload video recordings of their workouts so the athletic trainers can give them feedback remotely.” said Scruggs.
OrthoSouth’s dedication to helping their athletes reach their athletic potential combined with their versatility to implement technology for improved decision making is unique. Scruggs says the future for the program is exciting: “The potential to collect enough data to conduct studies to develop normative data for our athlete population and use it to continually improve their injury prevention efforts is truly groundbreaking.”