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Post-Surgical Activity That Improves Outcomes: How to Improve Compliance with Recovery Plans

Athletic Trainer Mark Ryan Conducts Live Demonstration of the Vail Hip Sport Test Developed at The Steadman Clinic

VAIL/COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO., June 7, 2023 – Researchers and physicians at The Steadman Clinic and Steadman Philippon Research Institute (SPRI) spend a great deal of time and energy searching for ways to prevent injuries in sport. But when an injury occurs, knowing the right time to allow athletes to return to their activities is critical.

On the first day of the 7th Annual Injury Prevention Symposium—virtually presented by Steadman Philippon Research Institution (SPRI) and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC)—there was a live demonstration of a test used to determine an athlete’s readiness to return to sport. 

During the symposium, Athletic Trainer Mark Ryan demonstrated the Vail Hip Sport Test. Ryan is the rehabilitation coordinator for world-renowned hip surgeon Dr. Marc Philippon, managing partner of The Steadman Clinic and chair of SPRI. As rehabilitation coordinator, Ryan plays a critical role in getting athletes back to competition safely following the hip arthroscopic surgery performed by Dr. Philippon, in part using this test. 

“The Vail Hip Sport Test is a functional test we developed to measure—first preoperatively—where patients stand, and we see what we're starting with from a muscular endurance perspective, a strength perspective, stability and pain drivers,” said Ryan. “We also use the test postoperatively as a way to measure their readiness to get back to regular sport practice.”

With a volunteer athlete, Ryan showed how the test works, using various weight-graded sport cords, timing and measuring instruments. He also explained how the test is scored before and after surgery. The test consists of single leg squats, leg lunges from side to side and at different angles, and lunges onto a plyometric box. 

During the live question and answer session following the demonstration, Ryan was asked if the Vail Hip Sport Test is exclusive to Vail and The Steadman Clinic. His response was emphatic. 

“We don't want it to be. We want this to be a good milestone for all our patients and for hip arthroscopy patients across the globe. We feel it's a very useful tool to measure what's going on. I think most therapists are happy to give their patients something to shoot for, measure and work towards.”

For further information, contact Lynda Sampson, VP External Affairs (lsampson@sprivail.org, 970-479-1563)

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