The ASCEND Program: Patient Qualifications For Participation

Summit’s ASCEND Return to Sport program is focused on safely returning injured athletes to a high level of competitive performance while teaching them how to prevent reinjury.

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The path from injury through recovery is demanding for competitive athletes; once an ACL has been torn, the risk of reinjury increases significantly. Summit’s ASCEND program was designed to safely support the intensive conditioning and strength building that athletes need, while reducing reinjury risks.

“The beauty of the ASCEND program is that it’s run by credentialed and educated trainers and physical therapists,” says ASCEND therapist Jenny Blade. “We understand postsurgical rehab, and we know what’s safe and what isn’t.”

When physicians refer patients to the ASCEND program, patients can expect to engage in a series of qualifying tests and an orientation based on sports medicine research.

  • “To get into the ASCEND program,” explains ASCEND therapist Kyle Hall, “patients must have a combined score of 23/30 on Summit’s Phase I and II sports tests. The Summit sports tests are research-based tests to ensure that athletes can participate safely in the ASCEND program and gauge their ability to return to a high level of athletic participation safely.”
  • On the first night of ASCEND training, participants will receive an educational booklet with detailed instructions for off-day workouts and educational materials about injury prevention. “In that first session,” notes Kyle, “we also go through a video analysis of each patient’s jumping and landing mechanics.”
  • During the final ASCEND session, participants are retested on Phase II of Summit’s sports test to evaluate the progress they have made since the first session.

“We’ve been conducting six ASCEND programs per year for two years now,” notes Jenny. “We get great feedback and comments from our participants, and we are really proud that all of our participants have either passed Phase II testing at the completion of the program, or passed within one month of completing ASCEND training. That’s one of my favorite parts of this program: we guide our athletes all the way back to their sport. Often, we stay in touch with them afterward too, with tips and additional support to keep them at the top of their game.”

Click here to learn more about the ASCEND Program.

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