Published on April 15, 2022

Stopping Knee Injuries before They Happen: Free Jump Assessments at Fisher-Titus

By: Kelly Kuhbander, PT; Jen Oakley-Swartz, PT; and Jake Rospert, ATC

Knee injuries are becoming more and more common, particularly among high school and female athletes. Knee ligament injury rates are 2-10 times higher in female athletes than in male athletes, and every year in the United States, 1 in 100 female high school athletes will suffer a serious knee injury.

Jake Rospert, Kelly Kuhbander, Jen Oakley-Swartz

One way to reduce the risk of future knee injury is to correct an athlete’s jumping technique. The Sportsmetrics™ program at Fisher-Titus can help an athlete identify any issues and correct them before an injury ever occurs. During the month of April, Fisher-Titus will be offering free jump assessments to help determine if you or your high school athlete is at an increased risk for knee injury.

What is Sportsmetrics™?

Sportsmetrics™ is a comprehensive 6 week jump training program tailored to correct deficiencies that can lead to injury, in particular ACL and other knee injuries. Created under the direction of internationally-renowned orthopaedic sports medicine surgeon, Frank R. Noyes, M.D., Sportsmetrics™ is the first and only training program scientifically proven to reduce the risk of knee injury, correct muscle imbalances, decrease leg dominance, and increase muscular power and jump height for sports like soccer, basketball, and volleyball that involve pivoting, cutting, or jumping. Sessions incorporate flexibility, specialized progression of jump/plyometric drills, and other agility/strength activities to achieve proper techniques for jumping and landing. This is an excellent program for both boys and girls!

Sportsmetrics™ is not just another plyometric training program. Training proceeds from technique development to performance enhancement with each session building on the previous bout of training. Essential to the success of the athlete is the instructor interaction and feedback throughout the program. Student to instructor ratios are kept at 6 to 1 or better to ensure that each athlete receives individualized recommendations and attention. Sportsmetrics™ develops strong athletes with good technique to prevent injury and enhance performance.

Fisher-Titus has four employees specially trained in screening for these deficiencies and helping correct them through the Sportsmetrics™ program. Jake Rospert, ATC, FMS, CSMS; Jen Oakley-Swartz, PT, MPT, OCS, CSMS; and Kelly Kuhbander, PT, MPT, CSMS Level II will be conducting the screenings and will lead sessions to assist athletes in correcting their jumping technique.

What does the screening involve?

Our certified professionals will use the Cincinnati Sportsmedicine's Exclusive Video Analysis Software to provide objective measurements of knee movement during landing and jumping. The screening will measure several important factors such as an athlete’s coordination and body alignment. The compilation of data from all performed tests will be compared to a large research database of over 800 athletes. The database is used to understand factors that may predispose an athlete to injury.

Testing includes:

  • A history of prior injuries and sports participation
  • Video analysis of jumping/landing
  • Single leg function hop tests
  • Single leg squat test
  • A written analysis of performance sent to you via e-mail

The athlete is videotaped during a series of 3 different tests. Video software is used to analyze key components of the hips, knees, and ankle motions during take offs and landings during specific types of jumping. Athletes who exhibit excessive inward motion of their knees may be at a greater risk to sustain serious injuries.

Testing takes 15-20 minutes and only requires an appointment and a signed consent from the athlete or his/her parent if under 18. Lycra shorts or leggings are the best attire for the screening as it allows the athlete to have a full range of motion while ensuring the software can properly analyze body alignment.

Who can benefit from a screening?

While these screenings are open to anyone age 10 or older that is concerned about their risk for knee injury, there are some groups of athletes that may especially benefit from a jump assessment and the Sportsmetrics™ program. These include:

  • High school athletes
  • Female athletes
  • Volleyball players
  • Basketball players
  • Soccer players
  • Tennis players
  • Cheerleaders
  • Other athletes who jump and/or change directions frequently with their sport

What comes next?

Once you complete your screening, your results will be sent directly to you via e-mail. If the screening detects deficiencies, Fisher-Titus will be offering opportunities to address these issues with Sportsmetrics™ training sessions starting in June 2022. Talk to the athletic trainer or physical therapist conducting your screening for additional guidance as to your next steps.

Scheduling your screening

Jump assessments are free and will take place at Fisher-Titus Medical Center during the month of April. To schedule an appointment, call the Fisher-Titus rehabilitation department at 419-660-2700.