Pre-Participation Evaluation: Medical and Musculoskeletal

presented by Phil Plisky & Todd Arnold

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The pre-participation physical exam can elicit a feeling of dread in the provider, as it can be time consuming and routine. How can you design and implement a meaningful pre-participation examination experience for your athletes? This course goes beyond simple clearance for safety and a routine system check and identifies ways to better manage the health of your athletes and prevent injury. In a unique approach, Dr. Arnold outlines a meaningful pre-participation physical exam from the medical perspective, and Dr. Plisky takes a deeper look at clearing the musculoskeletal system and preventing injury. This course engages the participant through detailed demonstrations, case studies, and a question and answer session with Dr. Arnold and Dr. Plisky.

Meet Your Instructors

  • Phil Plisky, PT, DSc, OCS, ATC, CSCS

    Phil Plisky, PT, DSc, OCS, ATC, CSCS

    Dr. Plisky is an Assistant Professor at the University of Evansville’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. He is the Director of ProRehab and University of Evansville’s Sports Residency Program, as well as a practicing therapist at ProRehab. Dr. Plisky received his Master of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Evansville and his Doctor of Science Degree in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Dr. Plisky is a board certified orthopedic specialist through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. He is a NATA board certified athletic trainer, and a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength & Conditioning Association. Dr. Plisky specializes in sport and orthopedic rehabilitation with an emphasis on injury prevention in athletes. His research focuses on comprehensive movement testing and injury prevention among athletes, military personnel, and school aged children––research that led to the development of the Y Balance Test. Dr. Plisky’s fieldwork has garnered research grants in collaboration with multiple universities totaling over 1.5 million dollars. Additionally, he consults for collegiate and professional teams, military, and school systems to identify injury risk and offer prevention options. His peer-reviewed articles have appeared in numerous scientific journals, several of which he serves as a manuscript reviewer. Dr. Plisky also presents internationally on the subjects of return to sport testing, injury prevention, and field expedient movement testing.

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  • Todd Arnold, MD

    Todd Arnold, MD

    Dr. Todd Arnold is a primary care/sports performance physician with over a decade of experience caring for athletes of all levels from scholastic to professional. He serves as a sports performance scientist for USA Track and Field, and has worked extensively with over 50 athletes in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games, where the team won 29 medals. He has served as head team physician at both Division I and Division II colleges. Todd has extensive training through the Titleist Performance Institute in the biomechanics of the golf swing, golf fitness and health care related to the golfer, and is the co-creator of Prescription Golf & Fitness™. He sees patients daily and is committed to increasing the public’s awareness of concussions. Dr. Todd Arnold is a board certified sports medicine specialist. He is currently licensed to practice medicine in Indiana. He received training at the Indiana University School of Medicine, Poudre Valley Hospital, and the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. The Medical Evaluation

    1. The Medical Evaluation

    This chapter introduces the medical evaluation and provides an overview of the goals of the PPE, the timing and administration of the PPE, and validity concerns with the process. More specific situations such as administration in a group setting, requirements for the PPE, and examples are provided.

  2. Pre-Participation Legal Considerations

    2. Pre-Participation Legal Considerations

    Legal considerations such as FERPA and HIPAA guide the administration and process of the PPE. It is important for sports therapists to be aware of these requirements, especially how they affect emergency information, clearing an athlete, clearance paperwork, and other special considerations.

  3. Movement Screening

    3. Movement Screening

    How can you identify the players that will fail to adapt to their environment through lack of performance improvement, skill metric improvement, or time loss before they fail? That is where the functional movement screening provides critical information for preparing and protecting your athletes.

  4. Motor Control Screening

    4. Motor Control Screening

    This chapter provides context and detailed research into motor control screening tests and evaluations. Learn how to determine the athlete’s readiness for sport and identify risk factors that place the athlete at greater risk of injury.

  5. Case Studies

    5. Case Studies

    Three case studies are presented to demonstrate some of the conditions commonly seen in the pre-participation evaluation. Demonstrations of some of the tests, discussions with the athletes, and therapist conclusions are included in this chapter.

  6. Q&A Session

    6. Q&A Session

    This chapter engages Todd Arnold and Phil Plisky in a discussion on some of the most common medical and musculoskeletal questions and concerns surrounding the pre-participation evaluation.