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Featured Articles

Fall 2010

Warrior Model For Human Performacne And Injury Prevention: Eagle Tactical Athlete Program (ETAP) Part I

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Sell TC, Abt JP, Crawford K, Lovalekar M, Nagai T, Deluzio J, Smalley BW, McGrail MA, Rowe RS, Cardin S, Lephart SM. 10(4). 2 - 21. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: Physical training for United States military personnel requires a combination of injury prevention and performance optimization to counter unintentional musculoskeletal injuries and maximize warrior capabilities. Determining the most effective activities and tasks to meet these goals requires a systematic, research-based approach that is population specific based on the tasks and demands of the warrior. Objective: We have modified the traditional approach to injury prevention to implement a comprehensive injury prevention and performance optimization research program with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Ft. Campbell, KY. This is Part I of two papers that presents the research conducted during the first three steps of the program and includes Injury Surveillance, Task and Demand Analysis, and Predictors of Injury and Optimal Performance. Methods: Injury surveillance based on a self-report of injuries was collected on all Soldiers participating in the study. Field-based analyses of the tasks and demands of Soldiers performing typical tasks of 101st Soldiers were performed to develop 101st-specific laboratory testing and to assist with the design of the intervention (Eagle Tactical Athlete Program (ETAP)). Laboratory testing of musculoskeletal, biomechanical, physiological, and nutritional characteristics was performed on Soldiers and benchmarked to triathletes to determine predictors of injury and optimal performance and to assist with the design of ETAP. Results: Injury surveillance demonstrated that Soldiers of the 101st are at risk for a wide range of preventable unintentional musculoskeletal injuries during physical training, tactical training, and recreational/sports activities. The field-based analyses provided quantitative data and qualitative information essential to guiding 101st specific laboratory testing and intervention design. Overall the laboratory testing revealed that Soldiers of the 101st would benefit from targeted physical training to meet the specific demands of their job and that sub-groups of Soldiers would benefit from targeted injury prevention activities. Conclusions: The first three steps of the injury prevention and performance research program revealed that Soldiers of the 101st suffer preventable musculoskeletal injuries, have unique physical demands, and would benefit from targeted training to improve performance and prevent injury.

Warrior Model For Human Performance And Injury Prevention: Eagle Tactical Athlete Program (ETAP) Part II

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Abt JP, Sell TC, Crawford K, Lovalekar M, Nagai T, Deluzio J, Smalley BW, McGrail MA, Rowe RS, Cardin S, Lephart SM. 10(4). 22 - 33. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: Physical training for United States military personnel requires a combination of injury prevention and performance optimization to counter unintentional musculoskeletal injuries and maximize warrior capabilities. Determining the most effective activities and tasks to meet these goals requires a systematic, research-based approach that is population specific based on the tasks and demands of the Warrior. Objective: The authors have modified the traditional approach to injury prevention to implement a comprehensive injury prevention and performance optimization research program with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, KY. This is second of two companion papers and presents the last three steps of the research model and includes Design and Validation of the Interventions, Program Integration and Implementation, and Monitor and Determine the Effectiveness of the Program. Methods: An 8-week trial was performed to validate the Eagle Tactical Athlete Program (ETAP) to improve modifiable suboptimal characteristics identified in Part I. The experimental group participated in ETAP under the direction of a ETAP Strength and Conditioning Specialist while the control group performed the current physical training at Fort Campbell under the direction of a Physical Training Leader and as governed by FM 21-20 for the 8-week study period. Results: Soldiers performing ETAP demonstrated improvements in several tests for strength, flexibility, performance, physiology, and the APFT compared to current physical training performed at Fort Campbell. Conclusions: ETAP was proven valid to improve certain suboptimal characteristics within the 8-week trial as compared to the current training performed at Fort Campbell. ETAP has long-term implications and with expected greater improvements when implemented into a Division pre-deployment cycle of 10-12 months which will result in further systemic adaptations for each variable.

Scapula Fracture Secondary To Static Line Injury In A 22 Year Old Active Duty Soldier

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Thompson WD. 10(4). 41 - 44. (Journal Article)

Abstract

This radiological case study of scapula fracture is reported in a 22 year-old active duty male Soldier who sustained a static line injury during an airborne operation at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. This is the first reported scapula fracture secondary to this mechanism since a 1973 report by Heckman and Levine. The fracture was neither identified by Emergency Department nor Orthopedic Surgery providers, and was reported in the radiologist's formal read. Ten emergency physicians and emergency medicine physician assistants reviewed the radiographical studies and none successfully identified the injury. Because this injury was uniformly missed by experienced emergency medicine providers it is presented as a radiographic case study in hopes that this injury will not go undiagnosed, potentially causing increased morbidity and mortality in this patient population. The patient was treated with a posterior splint and immobilization and seen by the orthopedic service the next day. Interestingly, the orthopedic surgeon also did not recognize this fracture. This mechanism of injury is rarely seen in clinical practice outside of the airborne community. Scapula fractures can be an indicator of serious thoracic trauma and may prompt the need for further diagnostic studies. The fact that so many providers missed the injury reinforces the need to evaluate the patient as a whole and to be ever suspicious of missing concomitant injuries in the trauma patient.

Keywords: Scapula Fracture; emergency department; Orthopedic; Radiograph; airborne

Public Health Foodborne Illness Case Study During A Special Operations Forces Deployment To South America

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McCown ME, Grzeszak B. 10(4). 45 - 47. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Although many public health articles have been published detailing foodborne illness outbreaks, a medical literature search revealed no articles that detail a case study or a specific response of a deployed U.S. military unit to a potential foodborne illness. This article describes a recent public health case study of a U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) team sickened while deployed to South America. It highlights public health factors which may affect U.S. personnel deployed or serving overseas and may serve as a guide for a deployed SOF medic to reference in response to a potential food- or waterborne illness outbreak. Methods: Eight food samples and five water samples were collected. The food samples were obtained from the host nation kitchen that provided food to the SOF team. The water samples were collected from the kitchen as well as from multiple sites on the host nation base. These samples were packaged in sterile containers, stored at appropriate temperatures, and submitted to a U.S. Army diagnostic laboratory for analysis. Results: Laboratory results confirmed the presence of elevated aerobic plate counts (APCs) in the food prepared by the host nation and consumed by the SOF team. Discussion: High APCs in food are the primary indicator of improper sanitation of food preparation surfaces and utensils. Conclusion: This case study concluded that poor kitchen sanitation, improper food storage, preparation, and/or holding were the probable conditions that led to the team's symptoms. These results emphasize the importance of ensuring safe food and water for U.S. personnel serving overseas, especially in a deployment or combat setting. Contaminated food and/or water will negatively impact the health and availability of forces, which may lead to mission failure. The SOF medic must respond to potential outbreaks and be able to (1) critically inspect food preparation areas and accurately advise commanders in order to correct deficiencies and (2) perform food/water surveillance testing consistently throughout a deployment and at any time in response to a potential outbreak.

Case Report: Use Of The Immediate Post Concussion Assessment And Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) To Assist With Return To Duty Determination Of Special Operations Soldiers Who Sustained Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

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Hettich T, Whitfield E, Kratz K, Frament C. 10(4). 48 - 55. (Case Reports)