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Dana M. Otzel, Chris J. Hass, Erik A. Wikstrom, Mark D. Bishop, Paul A. Borsa and Mark D. Tillman

Context: Following a lateral ankle sprain, ∼40% of individuals develop chronic ankle instability (CAI), characterized by recurrent injury and sensations of giving way. Deafferentation due to mechanoreceptor damage postinjury is suggested to contribute to arthrogenic muscle inhibition (AMI). Whole-body vibration (WBV) has the potential to address the neurophysiologic deficits accompanied by CAI and, therefore, possibly prevent reinjury. Objective: To determine if an acute bout of WBV can improve AMI and proprioception in individuals with CAI. Design and Participants: The authors examined if an acute bout of WBV can improve AMI and proprioception in individuals with CAI with a repeated-measures design. A total of 10 young adults with CAI and 10 age-matched healthy controls underwent a control, sham, and WBV condition in randomized order. Setting: Biomechanics laboratory. Intervention: WBV. Main Outcome Measures: Motoneuron pool recruitment was assessed via Hoffmann reflex (H-reflex) in the soleus. Proprioception was evaluated using ankle joint position sense at 15° and 20° of inversion. Both were assessed prior to, immediately following, and 30 minutes after the intervention (pretest, posttest, and 30mPost, respectively). Results: Soleus maximum H-reflex:M-response (H:M) ratios were 25% lower in the CAI group compared with the control group (P = .03). Joint position sense mean constant error did not differ between groups (P = .45). Error at 15° in the CAI (pretest 0.8 [1.6], posttest 2.0 [2.8], 30mPost 2.0 [1.9]) and control group (pretest 0.8 [2.0], posttest 0.6 [2.9], 30mPost 0.5 [2.1]) did not improve post-WBV. Error at 20° did not change post-WBV in the CAI (pretest 1.3 [1.7], posttest 1.0 [2.4], 30mPost 1.5 [2.2]) or control group (pretest −0.3 [3.0], posttest 0.8 [2.1], 30mPost 0.6 [1.8]). Conclusion: AMI is present in the involved limb of individuals with CAI. The acute response following a single bout of WBV did not ameliorate the presence of AMI nor improve proprioception in those with CAI.

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Susana Meireles, Neil D. Reeves, Richard K. Jones, Colin R. Smith, Darryl G. Thelen and Ilse Jonkers

Medial knee loading during stair negotiation in individuals with medial knee osteoarthritis has only been reported in terms of joint moments, which may underestimate the knee loading. This study assessed knee contact forces (KCF) and contact pressures during different stair negotiation strategies. Motion analysis was performed in 5 individuals with medial knee osteoarthritis (52.8 [11.0] y) and 8 healthy subjects (51.0 [13.4] y) while ascending and descending a staircase. KCF and contact pressures were calculated using a multibody knee model while performing step-over-step at controlled and self-selected speed, and step-by-step strategies. At controlled speed, individuals with osteoarthritis showed decreased peak KCF during stair ascent but not during stair descent. Osteoarthritis patients showed higher trunk rotations in frontal and sagittal planes than controls. At lower self-selected speed, patients also presented reduced medial KCF during stair descent. While performing step-by-step, medial contact pressures decreased in osteoarthritis patients during stair descent. Osteoarthritis patients reduced their speed and increased trunk flexion and lean angles to reduce KCF during stair ascent. These trunk changes were less safe during stair descent where a reduced speed was more effective. Individuals should be recommended to use step-over-step during stair ascent and step-by-step during stair descent to reduce medial KCF.

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Breanna E. Studenka and Kodey Myers

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit impairment in helping someone else with a motor action, which may arise from impairment in selecting and preparing motor responses. Five children with ASD and five typically developing children performed a cooperative motor planning task that required them to reach for, lift, and hand an object (hammer or stick) to a researcher. The response, movement, and grasp time were measured. Children with ASD grasped the object longer on trials where they helped, indicating that the action was planned in sequence versus as a whole (i.e., prior to the onset of movement). The hammer object elicited a quicker response than the stick, suggesting the facilitation of planning by tools with inherent action properties. Finally, the increased helping of children with ASD was not mirrored by changes in the response, movement, or grasp time.

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Damien Moore, Adam I. Semciw, Jodie McClelland, Henry Wajswelner and Tania Pizzari

Context: The gluteus minimus (GMin) muscle consists of 2 uniquely oriented segments that have potential for independent function and have different responses to pathology and aging. For healthy young adults, it is unknown that which rehabilitation exercises specifically target the individual segments. Objective: To quantify segmental GMin activity for 6 common lower-limb rehabilitation exercises in healthy young adults and determine if significant differences exist in segmental activity levels between the exercises. Method: Six common lower-limb rehabilitation exercises were performed by 10 healthy young adults with fine-wire electromyography (EMG) electrodes inserted into the anterior and posterior segments of the GMin muscle. Main Outcome Measures: Electromyography signals were recorded, and median normalized exercise activity levels were reported and compared for each GMin segment across the 6 exercises. Results: High activity levels were generated in the anterior segment by the resisted hip abduction–extension exercise (51% maximum voluntary isometric contraction [MVIC]), whereas for the posterior segment, high activity levels were produced by the single-leg bridge (49% MVIC), the side-lie hip abduction (43% MVIC), the resisted hip abduction–extension exercise (43% MVIC), and the single-leg squat (40% MVIC). There were significant differences (P < .05) in the median electromyography activity levels for the anterior GMin segment but not for the posterior GMin segment across some of the exercises with large effect sizes. Conclusion: Targeted rehabilitation exercises graded by exercise intensity can be prescribed specifically for the anterior and posterior GMin segments to aid in restoration of hip function following injury or aging.

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Oliver Silverson, Nicole Cascia, Carolyn M. Hettrich, Matt Hoch and Tim Uhl

Clinical Scenario: Assessing movement of the scapula is an important component in the evaluation and treatment of the shoulder complex. Currently, gold-standard methods to quantify scapular movement include invasive technique, radiation, and 3D motion systems. This critically appraised topic focuses on several clinical assessment methods of quantifying scapular upward rotation with respect to their reliability and clinical utility. Clinical Question: Is there evidence for noninvasive methods that reliably assess clinical measures of scapular upward rotation in subjects with or without shoulder pathologies? Summary of Key Findings: Four studies were selected to be critically appraised. The quality appraisal of diagnostic reliability checklist was used to score the articles on methodology and consistency. Three of the 4 studies demonstrated support for the clinical question. Clinical Bottom Line: There is moderate evidence to support reliable clinical methods for measuring scapular upward rotation in subjects with or without shoulder pathology. Strength of Recommendation: There is moderate evidence to suggest there are reliable clinical measures to quantify scapular upward rotation in patients with or without shoulder pathology.

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Nicole Cascia, Tim L. Uhl and Carolyn M. Hettrich

Clinical Scenario: Ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injuries are highly prevalent in professional baseball players with the success of operative management being well known in the literature. Return to play (RTP) rates following nonoperative management of partial UCL injuries in professional baseball players are not well established in the literature. With a UCL tear being a potential career-ending injury, it is imperative that the best treatment option is provided to these throwing athletes. There is an increase in the incidence of UCL surgical rates and a lack of general agreement on nonoperative treatment of partial UCL injuries as reported by the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons in 2017. There is also a lack of clarity on when to initiate rehabilitation, which may be due to the limited amount of studies reporting success of RTP rates and time to RTP following conservative interventions of partial UCL injuries. Evidence on the RTP rates seen following conservative management of partial UCL tears injuries can help guide health care providers in deciding on the best treatment option for professional baseball athletes who desire to return to their athletic careers. These rates of RTP will add valuable objective input when determining if conservative management is the best choice. To determine the current evidence, inclusion criteria for the literature search consisted of RTP rates following conservative treatment in professional baseball players between inception and 2018. Clinical Question: Is there evidence for successful RTP rates in professional baseball players following conservative treatment of a UCL injury? Summary of Key Findings: Three retrospective studies met the inclusion criteria and were included. Of those, 2 reported RTP rates following a nonoperative rehabilitation program of a UCL injury, whereas 1 reported RTP rates after injection therapy in subjects who attempted a trial of conservative treatment. All 3 studies considered location and grade of UCL tear. Successful RTP rates (66%–100%) were reported in professional baseball players following nonoperative treatment of partial UCL injuries. Clinical Bottom Line: Current evidence supports high success with RTP rates up to 100% after nonoperative treatment of grade 1 UCL injuries in professional baseball players and between 66% and 94% for a grade 2 and above. Strength of Recommendation: There is level C evidence for high RTP rates following nonoperative treatment of partial UCL injuries in professional baseball players.

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Kathryn R. Glaws, Thomas J. Ellis, Timothy E. Hewett and Stephanie Di Stasi

Context: Six months is the expected time frame to return to sport (RTS) after hip arthroscopy for femoroacetabular impingement syndrome (FAIS). Objective: The primary aims of this study were to (1) report the RTS rate of physically active individuals 6 months after arthroscopic surgery for FAIS and (2) compare the self-reported hip function between those who were able to RTS against those who had not. Design: Cohort study. Setting: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Patients: A total of 42 physically active individuals scheduled for hip arthroscopy for FAIS. Main Outcome Measures: Self-reported function, including preinjury and current activity levels and ability to participate in sport, were collected on 42 individuals with FAIS prior to surgery and at 6-month follow-up. Participants were allocated into 2 groups based on self-reported RTS status at 6-month follow-up. Separate 2-way analyses of variance were used to test the interaction of groups (those who did/did not RTS). Main effects were reported in the absence of statistically significant interactions (P ≤ .05). Results: Altogether, 28 of 42 participants (66%) returned for 6-month follow-up; 5 of the 14 participants (35.7%) lost to follow-up underwent contralateral hip surgery within the study time frame. At the 6-month follow-up, 16 of the remaining 28 participants (57.1%) reported that they had returned to sport, 5 of whom returned at their prior level of participation. There was no statistically significant interaction of group and time for either hip outcome score subscale (P ≥ .20). Self-reported hip function improved over time, regardless of group (P ≤ .001). Participants in the yRTS group demonstrated higher hip outcome score-sport scores than did the nRTS group, regardless of time (P = .04). Conclusions: Though just over half of participants returned to sport 6 months after hip arthroscopy for FAIS, only 18% returned to their previous level of sports participation. Participants who returned to sport reported better function than those who did not, but self-reported hip function improved over time regardless of group. The most commonly reported reasons for not returning to sport were weakness (69.6%), fear (65.2%), and pain (56.5%).

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Jocelyn F. Hafer, Mark S. Miller, Jane A. Kent and Katherine A. Boyer

Older females experience higher rates of disability than males, potentially due to sex-specific differences in gait and muscle function. The authors evaluated the effects of age and physical activity (PA) on gait mechanics and knee extensor muscle function in males and females. Three groups of 20 individuals (each 10 females) participated: young (21–35 y) and highly and less active older (55–70 y) adults. Knee extensor strength and joint mechanics during preferred speed gait were collected before and after 30 minutes of walking. Age by sex and PA by sex interactions indicated older and less active older females had lower concentric knee extensor muscle power and larger hip extension moments than males. After 30 minutes of walking, older less active adults had larger decreases in knee extensor power than their highly active older counterparts, and older adults of both sexes had decreases in ankle dorsiflexion moments while young adults did not. These results suggest that older, particularly less active, adults are susceptible to knee extensor muscle fatigue from moderate activity. For older adults, high levels of PA may be necessary to preserve gait mechanics in response to a bout of exercise. This new information may be important for targeting interventions in at-risk older adults.

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Scott W. Cheatham

Background: In sports medicine, the interprofessional care of athletes has become a frequent practice. This type of care often involves different interventions used among professionals. One common intervention prescribed is roller massage (RM) or self-myofascial release. The trends in the use of RM among allied health professionals are nonexistent. The surveillance of such responses has not been documented. Purpose: To survey and document responses in the knowledge, clinical application, and use of RM devices among allied health professionals in the United States. Design: Cross-sectional descriptive survey study. Methods: A 20-question survey was sent to allied health professionals including physical therapists, athletic trainers, and fitness professionals. The survey covered topics such as demographics, beliefs about RM, preferred devices, exercise prescription, and client education. Results: One thousand and forty-two professionals (N = 1042) completed the survey. Most respondents believed that RM decreases pain (82%) and increases mobility (76%). A high percentage use a foam roller in their practice (81%), recommend a full-size foam roller (49%), and believe the medium density (48%) is the most effective. A high proportion of respondents prescribe RM for injury treatment (69%) and for preexercise and postexercise (61%). They also recommend rolling daily for 30 seconds to 2 minutes per muscle group (33%) at a self-paced cadence (46%). A high percentage of respondents use patient-reported outcomes (74%), joint range of motion (49%), and movement-based testing (48%) to measure effects of RM. Eighty-seven percent use live instruction to educate clients, and 88% believe there is a gap in the research. Conclusion: The results of this survey document responses in the use of RM among allied health professionals. The reported responses provide insight into how professionals are using RM as an intervention and the potential gaps between the research and professional practice. Future studies are needed to further validate these findings.

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Paula R. Mesquita, Silvia G.R. Neri, Ricardo M. Lima, Eliane F. Manfio and Ana C. de David

Although previous reports have provided normative plantar pressure data for walking in children, evaluation during running is lacking. This study aimed to compare foot loading patterns during running and walking in children aged 4–10 years. Furthermore, the relationship between running baropodometric parameters and anthropometric measures was investigated. Foot loading of 120 volunteers was evaluated during running and walking using an Emed AT-4 pressure platform. Analyses were performed for 5 anatomical regions (rearfoot, midfoot, forefoot, hallux, and lesser toes). Higher peak pressure and maximum force values were seen under most foot regions during running in comparison with walking, whereas relative contact area tended to increase only in the midfoot. Data for running indicated that aging explained less than 23% of the variance of plantar loads and contact area. Running foot loads were more associated with height, body mass, and foot length. This study’s data described plantar loads under the feet of children were greater during running. Aging was associated with little increase in running plantar loads and larger contact areas. Results may be useful as reference to characterize foot loading during running and in the development of orthoses in clinical applications or products such as sport shoes for children.