Young athlete shoots basket

Feb 23, 2017 / Sports Medicine

Return to Sports – Y-Balance Test

After a significant injury, young athletes like Milik are often very concerned about when they get to go back to sports. As a 12-year-old, Milik tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and wanted to go back to basketball. Pediatric orthopedic surgeon, Philip L. Wilson, M.D., reconstructed his ACL and now Milik is back on the courts.

We talked to his mom about his journey to return to sports. She remembers one of the most frustrating moments was when he didn’t pass “the test” the first time. The test she is referring to is called the Y-Balance Test. It is one of several tests we use to determine when an athlete is ready to return to sports. The test evaluates the athlete’s use of his operative leg compared to the normal side to determine if it is able to sustain the stresses of sports.

Milik told us he wishes he had known more about the test before it was time to take it. In fact, other patients have told us that also, so we have created a video to show young athletes early in their recovery process.

Watch the video.

Dr. Wilson says, “We want rehabilitation and returning to sports to be a positive experience for young athletes. Most importantly, we want playing sports to be a safe experience and that is why we use evidence-based tests like the Y-Balance Test to help determine the right time for each athlete instead of looking at a calendar.”

For information about injury prevention and pediatric sports medicine, please visit our Sports Medicine page.

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