Friday, November 28, 2008
Medical Reports: Athletes
It's movie-making magic coming to a playing field near you. In today's Healthcast, Seven's Christine Cruz shows us how, with a little hi-tech help, injured athletes are getting back in the game.
WSVN -- Working out is now more specialized for baseball player Jimmy Gerlach.
Jimmy Gerlach: "You can see the four-inch scar there."
Surgery from an injury left him off the mound for months.
Jimmy Gerlach: "I went back to throw another pitch, and my arm just started ripping from when I started my motion, and then I couldn't stop it, and from there it just tore all the way through."
To prevent Jimmy from suffering another injury, researchers at this bio-mechanical lab put reflectors on his body to track his every move. The red lights are high speed cameras. When he pitches, they work with 3-D tracking computers to pick up subtle motions the human eye can't see.
Ajit Chaudhari, Ohio State University: "When we record it, we can watch it really slowly, examine little parts again and again. The pitching coach could just watch him throw, but it's hard to see everything. You don't have the right angle to see things necessarily. You can't slow it down, so we get all of that from this type of 3-D analysis. We can rotate it around to look at it from a different view."
They concentrate on Jimmy's elbow when he throws. The lower it is, the more chance for injury.
Chris McKenzie, Physical Therapist: "By actually increasing his arm slot and by looking at that mechanically here in the lab, we actually can make sure that the arm is staying high, taking stress out of the shoulder and elbow itself."
Jimmy Gerlach: "It's a big help 'cause you can see it on the computer."
Knowing what to change will hopefully help his arm and make his career last longer.
Besides athletes, researchers want to use this equipment to help patients with injuries function better, like figuring out why some people who have knee replacements can climb stairs, while others cannot.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Ohio State University Sports Medicine Center