Return to sport tests are common at WPT and taking patients through tests that are validated by evidence is really important. Today we want to talk about a few tests that we use. Lower extremity injuries typically consist of two sides, the involved and uninvolved side. The difference between these two is simple. The involved side is the side that is injured and the uninvolved side is the side that is not injured. The rule of thumb here is that the outcome of your return to sport testing needs to be within 10% of your uninvolved side to safely return to athletics. Below are four validated tests commonly used at WPT as a gauge for return to sport.
Single Hop Test
This test is simple. The patient stands at the end of the measuring tape on one leg, and hops as far as they can using the uninvolved leg. Next we have the patient do the same but using the involved side. We test on both sides to see if the patient has comparable distances within 10%. For example, to meet the 10% threshold, if an individual can hope 30 inches on their non-injured side, they should be able to hop at least 27 inches on their injured side. Of the four listed tests, this is the only one time maximal effort power test.
Triple Hop Test
The principle for this test is the same as the single hop test, however this time there are three hops instead of one. Athletics most always require multiple bursts of dynamic activity, and this test reflects that aspect better than a single hop test.
This third test is is similar to the three hop test but instead of hoping straight, the patient hops in a zig-zag pattern over the ruler. The lateral movement aspect of this test requires additional levels of lower extremity stability and power.
6 Meter Timed Hop Test
The fourth and final test is a timed test to determine how quickly you can unilaterally hop in a six meter distance. If you are uncertain you’re ready to return to your sport after an injury, seeking out a physical who’s capable of determining your readiness is crucial to your recovery. The worst thing that can happen is getting back to your sport prematurely and suffer a re-injury!
If you have any question about return to sport tests or injuries, please feel free to reach out to us. We are always here to help!