Tarik Cohen to miss Chicago Bears training camp, possibly season opener
During the course of his 20 years as an orthopaedic shoulder, knee and sports medicine surgeon, Dr. Steven Chudik has treated a countless number of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries on patients of all ages and athletic abilities. Through this firsthand experience, he knows the time it takes an athlete to get back in the game can vary according to patient factors, surgical technique, rehabilitation program and the severity of the injury, as well as other associated injuries to the meniscus, cartilage and other knee ligaments. Therefore, he wasn’t surprised the Chicago Bears placed their running back, Tarik Cohen on the physically unable to perform list. Cohen tore the ACL in his right knee requiring surgery and missing the rest of last season.
In making the Cohen announcement, Coach Matt Nagy told the sports media you need to be patient with any recovering player. “There’s going to be up and down days with these guys as they go,” Nagy said. “That’s just a part of the recovery process and they’re working through all of that.”
Knowing when an athlete is ready to safely return to their sport is very important. Dr. Chudik works with athletes to train them to learn how to run, jump and cut in ways that decrease their risk for re-injury and uses his return-to-play program that quantitatively and qualitatively determines when it is safe for the athletes to return to play. “Although returning to play may be an athlete’s primary goal, making sure they do not return too soon and re-injure themselves is more important,” Dr. Chudik said.
To help prevent a re-injury, Dr. Chudik through his nonprofit foundation, the Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Teaching & Research Foundation (OTRF), researched and developed a comprehensive ACL functional capacity evaluation (FCE) to determine when athletes can safely return to sport following ACL surgery reconstruction and requires all his athletic patients take the test before he will release them back to their sport.
“Despite all the advances in ACL reconstruction and improved outcomes, there always has been a tremendous amount of variability in the criteria used by physicians to determine when they should allow patients to resume sports participation,” explained Dr. Chudik. “The FCE combines self-reported questionnaires; clinical assessments for swelling, range of motion, strength; and functional components such as landing form assessment and hop testing. At the end of the test, patients receive either a “pass” or “fail” grade providing a definite answer whether they can return to sport or what they need to continue to work on in order to return safely,” Dr. Chudik said.
According to Dr. Chudik’s research, the FCE is an important step in completing the treatment of athletes with an ACL injury and helps to reassure them that they are less likely to experience a re-injury upon returning to sports. Dr. Chudik and OTRF continue to evaluate the outcomes to monitor the long term effectiveness of the ACL FCE.
If you or someone you know are interested in learning more about Dr. Chudik’s ACL functional capacity evaluation, or in making an appointment to be seen by him at the Shoulder, Knee and Sports Medicine Injury Clinic, please call 630-324-0402 or email firstname.lastname@example.org/. Dr. Chudik has convenient appointment times on Monday, Wednesday and Friday in Westmont and Western Springs, Ill., with reserved time on Monday evenings specifically for athletes.