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Physical Therapy

Return to Play with Confidence

Memorial Hermann offers a new, one-of-a-kind Return to Play (RTP) Program, where injured athletes continue to reap the benefits of Memorial Hermann's highly-trained and integrated team of sports rehabilitation specialists. The Program fills a critical gap in your recovery - after the lapse of your health insurance coverage - by providing an affordable cash-based service by medically trained specialists during the later phases of your rehabilitation.

Whether you're a high school or college athlete trying to get back onto the field or eyeing a scholarship, a competitive marathon runner, a team player, or a weekend warrior, you can be sure to return to your sport with confidence.

Preventing Another Injury

Injury or re-tear rates are significantly higher among athletes with a history of previous injury that required surgical intervention. Current data on athletes that have undergone an ACL reconstruction show that 30% of them are more likely to sustain a second ACL injury within 24 months of returning to activity. Too often, patients are discharged from formal physical therapy without being cleared to return to play due to exhausting benefits and not having a formalized plan to return them safely to the field.  

Without skilled rehabilitation and guidance including integrated outcome measure testing, athletes may likely re-injure themselves, potentially leading to surgery, permanent damage or the reduced ability to return to their fitness passion.

Although sports performance facilities can help an athlete get bigger, faster, and stronger, they are used to treating healthy athletes. They do not have the medical background to adapt and progress an athlete who is recovering from an injury or surgery.  

In contrast, Memorial Hermann's Return to Play Program offers athletes a deep bench of heavy hitters at an affordable cost after their insurance benefits have been exhausted: an integrated team of sports medicine professionals specializing in working with injured athletes to maximize performance outcomes and vastly cut the chance of being sidelined again. These health professionals analyze the extent of the injury and devise personalized rehabilitation programs to improve the odds of returning to chosen sports with full mobility, and performance level. 

Integrated Team Care

Memorial Hermann's integrated sports team works together with your physician, your athletic trainer, or coach to ensure timely communication and proper progression of the treatment of your injury. We are here to make sure you return to play at full capacity - with confidence. Your team may include:

  • The affiliated lead sports medicine physician, who oversees each client's treatment, provides key referrals and guides the rest of the team toward the ultimate goal of the client returning to play with confidence and at full capability.
  • An on-site physical therapist, who assesses functional and clinical impairments, creates and oversees the rehabilitation program to restore full use, and then helps patients transition to their former sports or activities.
  • An athletic trainer specializing in sports recovery, who serves as an extension of the physical therapist. He or she makes sure milestones are met without risking future injury. He or she knows the demands of each sport and how to maintain the needed strength, mobility and range of motion while managing acute injuries without risk of re-injury.
  • A Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist®, who helps train clients during the later phases of rehabilitation with the goal of not only returning them to chosen sports but also improving their future performance. Skilled in rehabilitation, he or she can properly pace workout and track outcomes while also re-creating the gym and sport-specific demands.
  • Coaches on clients' existing teams, who also may work with Memorial Hermann experts to ensure progress continues without re-injury.
  • A sports dietitian, who helps clients improve body habits and return to pre-injury form after a prolonged rehabilitation. He or she tracks progress with objective measurements such as the BOD POD® or a dexa scan.
  • A biomechanist, who analyzes a client's movement and range of motion, educates him or her on proper form to thwart future injury. These assessments include running analyses to ensure proper footwear and detection of mechanical deficits that may predispose athletes to future injury.

The Process

Most Return to Play patients already have worked with sports medicine specialists on preventative therapy and workouts to improve range of motion, strength and endurance. When their health insurance benefits end, their progress is often significant, but not enough to return to their sport. The Program steps in to finish rehabilitation to allow athletes to return with confidence. It focuses on later stages of rehabilitation encompassing functional symmetry, restoring the injured area to full strength and mobility that is equal to the non-injured body. This may include therapy and workouts emphasizing agility, speed, power, and strength development. From there, recuperating athletes return to their drills, then practices (including participation with teammates while under supervision) and, finally, competition.

Where is the Return to Play Program available?

To learn more about the program, please contact the Return to Play Coordinator: Jamie Chauvin, ATC, LAT, CSCS at 713-512-6197 or one of the locations below:

IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute at Memorial City

IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute at Sugar Land

IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute at The Woodlands

Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation - Memorial Hermann Sports Park

Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation – Shepherd Square