First-year physical therapy student Chelsea J. Klemetson took home first-place honors in competition at the recent Midwest Student Biomedical Research Forum (MSBRF). MSBRF provides graduate and health professions students the opportunity to present original biomedical research in either an oral or poster format.
Sponsored by Creighton University and University of Nebraska Medical Center, the forum offers participants the opportunity to receive critical review and recognition of their research from their peers and established scientists.
Klemetson’s award was in the Medical/Professional Student Oral Presentation category; she presented on “Clinical Tests to Evaluate the Impact of Fatigue on Hop Performance in Healthy Individuals.” She was advised by Terry L. Grindstaff, PhD, associate professor of physical therapy, and received assistance from Brooke Egeland, MS, ATC, research assistant in the Rehabilitation Sciences Research Laboratory.
Research supporting the presentation was a team effort, as Klemetson worked side-by-side with third-year physical therapy student Allison White.
The purpose of the study was to develop clinical tests to evaluate the impact of fatigue on hop performance. “The knee is the most commonly injured joint in adolescents, resulting in almost 200,000 ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears per year,” said White. “These athletes then must go through surgery and significant rehabilitation to return-to-sport.”
Currently, most clinical decisions regarding return-to-sport following surgery are partially informed by a battery of functional performance tests. A limitation of these tests is that most injuries happen at the end of a sporting event, when fatigue is present, but testing is often performed in a nonfatigued state. Other existing fatigue tests incorporate large and expensive equipment.
For this study, White and Klemetson developed two tests: the 30-Second Side-Hop and the 2-Minute Lateral Step Down test. They analyzed them on a population of healthy young people and found that the 2-Minute Lateral Step Down test could provide a more pragmatic approach for measuring functional ability when considering return-to-sport following knee injury, as it is quick, inexpensive and easy to perform in a clinical setting.
“Research has been such a great opportunity here at Creighton,” Klemetson said, “and I feel lucky to be a part of it. I’m really thankful for the help and guidance I have received from Terry Grindstaff and Brooke Egeland in the research lab.”
The follow-up study will examine the use of this test in individuals following ACL reconstruction who are returning to sport.