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Emerging Sports Medicine Technologies

Sports Medicine Institute - MishawakaThe Sports Medicine Institute at SJRMC provides advanced diagnostics and treatments for all types of sports and other overuse-related injuries. The team’s objective, lead by Dr. Stephen Simons, is to help prevent injuries and treat pain using cutting-edge technology while improving performance.

Musculoskeletal Ultrasound

Improved imaging technology over the past few years makes it possible to more easily diagnose sports-related injuries. SJRMC’s musculoskeletal ultrasound system gives us a detailed view of internal organs and tissues. So we can more accurately find and treat problems such as:

  • Tendon tears
  • Muscle abnormalities
  • Tumors that may exist in soft tissues
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Other problems related to inflammation

Platelet-rich Plasma Therapy

Platelets in our blood help us heal, build tissues, and stop bleeding. Platelet-rich plasma therapy takes advantage of this natural healing process. The procedure allows us to draw blood from a patient and separate out the platelet-rich plasma. The plasma can then be injected into an injured area (such as an affected tendon) to promote faster, more effective healing. Risks of the treatment are minimal since the platelets come from the patient’s own blood and will not be rejected by the body. Benefits can include:

  • Decreased inflammation and pain
  • Increased tissue repair
  • Increased bone density
  • Improved development of new blood cells

Concussion Study

Dr. Simons recently began using the Axon Sports Computerized Cognitive Assessment Tool (CCAT) to help with a study that will benefit children across the country. Goals for the study are to:

  • Understand the normal changes in cognitive function at key age ranges during development
  • Compute ranges for normal performance
  • Compare the performance on tests while in supervised clinical settings vs. performance while completing tests at home

The study will track young people ages 5 through 18 using simple online testing to understand the development of the brain. These tests are used to establish normal reaction time, short-term memory, and concentration for children participating in sports that put them at high risk of concussion. The results of this study will help establish age-based standards.

With standards in place, researchers can develop percentile charts similar to those for children’s height and weight. As a result, physicians will be able to better distinguish normal changes in thinking as children develop versus changes that result from injuries like concussions.

Saint Joseph Health System  |  5215 Holy Cross Parkway, Mishawaka, IN 46545  |  574.335.5000

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