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.

ASCEND Program

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.”

Qualifying for the ASCEND Program

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. Also it gauges 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. It details 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. It evaluates the progress they have made since the first session.

Feedback from participants

“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. We provide tips and additional support to keep them at the top of their game.”

Additional resources

Also see...

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  • Summit’s ASCEND Program: Rehabilitating Neuromuscular Imbalances

    Knee, hip, and ankle surgery can take a toll on leg strength and balance. Summit’s ASCEND program is designed to help athletes reclaim the neuromuscular balance they need to compete safely.

  • Preventing Reinjury After ACL Reconstruction

    Reinjury is common after an ACL reconstruction. Summit physical therapists Kyle Hall and Jenny Blade explain the risks and share techniques that can help prevent a second injury.