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1.  EVALUATION AND TREATMENT OF MUSCULOSKELETAL CHEST WALL PAIN IN A MILITARY ATHLETE 
Background and Purpose:
Athletes reporting chest pain are challenging to diagnose and equally challenging to treat. The majority of chest pain is musculoskeletal in origin, yet differentiating these from other more serious conditions should be the initial primary focus. The ability to reproduce the patient's symptoms aids in the differential diagnostic process. The purpose of this case report is to illustrate the use of dry needling (DN) to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of focal chest wall pain.
Case Descriptions:
A 22 year-old male military athlete with anterior chest pain, refractory to traditional physical therapy, was evaluated and treated with dry needling.
Outcomes:
Favorable results were achieved as demonstrated by clinically meaningful improvements in the Patient Specific Functional Scale, the Global Rating of Change score, and his physical performance which allowed this athlete to return to competition and military training.
Conclusion:
Dry needling in the hands of properly trained providers may aid in diagnosis and treatment of focal chest wall syndromes.
Level of Evidence:
Therapy, Level 4
PMCID: PMC3362990  PMID: 22666647
chest pain; costochondritis; dry needling; military athlete; physical therapy
2.  DIAGNOSIS OF AN ISOLATED POSTERIOR MALLEOLAR FRACTURE IN A YOUNG FEMALE MILITARY CADET: A RESIDENT CASE REPORT 
Background and Purpose:
The ankle is the most commonly injured joint during athletic activity. While ankle sprains are certainly the most common injury, ankle fractures can occur frequently. One type of ankle fracture with a reportedly low incidence is the isolated posterior malleolar fracture. Because of the low incidence, isolated posterior malleolar fractures can present a diagnostic challenge. The purpose of this case report is to describe the diagnostic process used for this rare injury that occurred in a physically active college-aged female who injured her ankle when landing from a fall during performance on a military obstacle course.
Case Description:
A 19 year old female United States Military Academy cadet presented to a direct access physical therapy clinic. She was limping, not using any assistive device, and was wearing an ace bandage around her right ankle/foot. Two days earlier she fell from a “10 foot high” structure while performing the military obstacle course. She did not recall details of impact, but she was told by several bystanders that it appeared that she landed on her right foot followed immediately by a transition to her buttocks and then to her back.
Outcomes:
Ottawa Ankle Rules and ligamentous testing were negative; however, she was tender to palpation just anterior to the achilles tendon and lateral to the posterior edge of the medial malleolus. Based on mechanism of injury and tenderness of the posterior ankle, a potential posterior ankle fracture was suspected and subsequently confirmed by radiographic studies of the ankle including standard radiographs and computerized tomography.
Discussion:
While the Ottawa Ankle Rules are generally effective in detecting many types of ankle fractures, clinicians should not rely solely on such prediction rules. This case highlights the importance of completing a thorough history and performing a thorough physical examination. This case report focuses on differential diagnosis. It is important to consider all aspects of the patient evaluation process collectively instead of examination pieces individually.
PMCID: PMC3325632  PMID: 22530191
Direct access; Ottawa Ankle Rules; posterior malleolus fracture
3.  EXPLORATION OF THE Y-BALANCE TEST FOR ASSESSMENT OF UPPER QUARTER CLOSED KINETIC CHAIN PERFORMANCE 
Background:
Although upper extremity (UE) closed kinetic chain (CKC) exercises have become commonplace in most rehabilitation programs, a clinically meaningful UE CKC functional test of unilateral ability has continued to be elusive.
Objectives:
To examine reliability of the Upper Quarter Y-Balance Test (UQYBT), evaluate the effects of arm dominance on UQYBT performance, and to determine how the UQYBT is related to specific components of the test (trunk rotation, core stability and UE function and performance) in a college-aged population.
Methods:
A sample of healthy college students performed the UQYBT and a series of 6 additional dynamic tests designed to assess trunk rotation, core stability, and UE performance. The relationship of these tests compared to the UQYBT was assessed. The effect of upper limb dominance for the UQYBT was also explored. Finally, test re-test reliability was established for the UQYBT.
Results:
Thirty subjects (24 males, 6 females, mean ages 19.5 6 1.2 and 18.8 6 0.8 years) were assessed during the study. The test re-test reliability was excellent for UQYBT measurements (intraclass correlation coefficient > 0.9). A significant (p <0.05) fair to moderate association was observed between the UQYBT and several core stability and UE functional tests. There was no significant difference in UQYBT performance between dominant and non-dominant limbs.
Discussion:
The UQYBT is a reliable UE CKC test that can be used to assess unilateral UE function in a closed chain manner. The UQYBT appears to be most related to dynamic tests involving core stability and UE performance. Similarity on the UQYBT between dominant and non-dominant limbs indicates that performance on this test using a non-injured UE may serve as a reasonable measure for “normal” when testing an injured UE. Future research is needed to determine the clinical applicability of the UQYBT.
Level of Evidence:
2b
PMCID: PMC3325634  PMID: 22530188
upper extremity functional testing; Upper quarter Y-Balance test
4.  LATERAL ABDOMINAL MUSCLE SYMMETRY IN COLLEGIATE SINGLE-SIDED ROWERS 
Purpose/Background:
Although side to side symmetry of lateral abdominal muscle thickness has been established in healthy individuals, it is unknown whether abdominal muscle symmetry exists in athletes with asymmetrical physiological demands, such as those of single-sided rowers. The purpose of this study was to examine the oarside versus the non-oarside lateral abdominal musculature thickness in collegiate single-sided rowers, as measured by ultrasound imaging (USI).
Methods:
The study was a prospective, cross-sectional, observational design. Thirty collegiate crew team members (17 males, 13 females, age 19.8±1.2 years) characterized as single-sided rowers participated. Resting muscle thickness measurements of the transversus abdominis (TrA), internal oblique (IO), and external oblique (EO) muscles were obtained via USI. Comparisons of absolute and relative muscle thickness between oarside and non-oarside were performed using paired t-tests. Potential differences based on gender, rowing experience, and history of low back pain were investigated using mixed model analysis of variance.
Results:
There were no clinically significant differences in absolute or relative thickness of the TrA, IO or EO on the oarside versus the non-oarside. There were no significant side to side differences in the relative muscle thickness of the TrA, IO or EO based on gender, rowing experience, or history of low back pain.
Conclusions:
In this sample of single-sided rowing athletes, no clinically significant side to side differences in lateral abdominal muscle thickness were observed. Despite the asymmetrical functional demands of single-sided rowers in this study, thickness of the lateral abdominal muscles was symmetric.
Level of Evidence:
4
PMCID: PMC3273879  PMID: 22319677
crew; sweep rowing; transversus abdominis; ultrasound imaging.
5.  EFFECTS OF FOREFOOT RUNNING ON CHRONIC EXERTIONAL COMPARTMENT SYNDROME: A CASE SERIES 
Introduction:
Chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS) is a condition that occurs almost exclusively with running whereby exercise increases intramuscular pressure compromising circulation, prohibiting muscular function, and causing pain in the lower leg. Currently, a lack of evidence exists for the effective conservative management of CECS. Altering running mechanics by adopting forefoot running as opposed to heel striking may assist in the treatment of CECS, specifically with anterior compartment symptoms.
Case Description:
The purpose of this case series is to describe the outcomes for subjects with CECS through a systematic conservative treatment model focused on forefoot running. Subject one was a 21 y/o female with a 4 year history of CECS and subject two was a 21 y/o male, 7 months status-post two-compartment right leg fasciotomy with a return of symptoms and a new onset of symptoms on the contralateral side.
Outcome:
Both subjects modified their running technique over a period of six weeks. Kinematic and kinetic analysis revealed increased step rate while step length, impulse, and peak vertical ground reaction forces decreased. In addition, leg intracompartmental pressures decreased from pre-training to post-training. Within 6 weeks of intervention subjects increased their running distance and speed absent of symptoms of CECS. Follow-up questionnaires were completed by the subjects at 7 months following intervention; subject one reported running distances up to 12.87 km pain-free and subject two reported running 6.44 km pain-free consistently 3 times a week.
Discussion:
This case series describes a potentially beneficial conservative management approach to CECS in the form of forefoot running instruction. Further research in this area is warranted to further explore the benefits of adopting a forefoot running technique for CECS as well as other musculoskeletal overuse complaints.
PMCID: PMC3230159  PMID: 22163093
anterior compartment syndrome; fasciotomy; forefoot running; shin splints

Results 1-5 (5)