The RTC uses various test tasks to check the neuromuscular performance compared between the injured and the non-injured side. Based on the results, recommendations can be given for the resumption of sporting activity.
When can I play again?
The Return-to-competition (RTC) assessment at OrthoTrain
The return-to-competition assessment is a functional test battery developed by experts to assess the ability to participate fully in competition training after an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. OrthoTrain carries out the RTC assessment on behalf of the German BG insurance company.
The ACL injury represents an incisive event in the careers of athletes. After successful surgery and rehabilitation, athletes want to start training and competition again as soon as possible. However, it is important not to return to sport too soon, as the risk of re-injury or chronic ailments is often increased when instability and neuromuscular deficits still exist. It is therefore necessary to check the neuromuscular performance, posture control and coordinative abilities as well as to thoroughly test sports-specific movement sequences before resuming sporting activities.
The RTC assessment consists of a test battery of different test tasks: in addition to the clinical examination by the specialist, strength, balance and extensive jump tests are carried out to ensure the strength level, balance and jumping behavior in the existing deficits between the injured and the injured side.
The components of the RTC test in detail:
■ Clinical examination (Orthopedic doctor)
■ Coordination, posture control and balance:
□ Modified Star Excursion Test (SEBT):
The SEBT is a dynamic balance test that is performed one-legged. The results show whether there are still deficiencies in the dynamic posture control between the injured and uninjured leg.
The FMS assesses mobility, muscular balances and stability in various individual tests. The results help to identify deficits and weak points and help to prevent injuries.
Isokinetic and isometric performance diagnostics are used to determine strength and muscular deficits. Comparative measurements of the uninjured, healthy and injured side reveal neuromuscular weaknesses and imbalances.
Jump tests play an important role in the return-to-play decision. The various jump tests show in the left-right comparison deficits of neuromuscular control between the healthy and injured leg, with particular assessment of the landing behavior.
The following jump tests are performed:
- □ One leg hop test
- □ Drop jump test
- □ Squat jump test
- □ Counter movement jump test
■ Speed test:
The speed of movement is checked with the tapping test. The task is to perform quick alternating steps on the spot with the highest possible frequency. The tapping frequency and ground contact times are evaluated. With the help of the tapping test, a faster fatigue of the neuromuscular system can be detected.
■ Agility Test (AT):
At the AT, a defined course with fast directional changes and sports-specific movements is to be completed as quickly as possible. Under time pressure, acyclic motion patterns are tested, which include stoppage, rotation and acceleration movements and are particularly powerful in game sports.