Re-Opening Orthopaedic Sport Institute

Hello to everyone! All of us here at OSI have been patiently waiting (like everyone in pandemic lockdown) for word from the government about the date we can reopen the clinic.

Please note the following excerpts from the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario and the MOH:

Effective May 26, 2020, physiotherapists and other regulated health professionals can, when all necessary precautions and protocols are in place to protect patients and themselves, gradually and carefully begin providing all services, including non-essential services.

What this change means for physiotherapists and other regulated health professionals?

This change does not mean that you should immediately return to providing care in-person.

Regulated Health Professionals and their employers must assess the risks of providing care in-person and implement appropriate infection control and prevention measures.

You are ONLY permitted to provide in-person care when you are satisfied that the benefits of providing care in-person outweigh the risks and appropriate infection control and prevention measures are in place.

You should monitor the spread of COVID-19 in your community to inform your decisions of when to return to practice. Refer to data from the Ontario Government, Public Health Ontario and your local public health unit.

We are REQUIRED to limit the number of in-person visits for your safety and the safety of patients. Health professionals are in the best position to determine if care can be provided virtually and or if care can safely resume in-person with appropriate precautions and protocols in place to protect you and your patients.

Here at OSI, we are going to be implementing the following measures to ensure the safety of our patients and of our staff:

We are scheduling appointments for 30 minutes in length, but providing 15 minutes in between each appointment for appropriate disinfection of the treatment area and to minimize patient contact (i.e. maintain physical distancing measures for our patients).

We are asking each patient to wait outside prior to entering the building – you can either phone us upon arrival or you will be waved in by our front desk staff in order to minimize contact between patients. This will permit a smooth transition between patients and avoid congestion in the waiting area.

Each patient should, upon arrival for their first appointment (post COVID lockdown), fill out a COVD-19 Screening Tool. This is a standard form used to monitor travel, symptoms etc. Please sign and date this form.

Please wear a mask.

Please sanitize your hands upon entering the building, upon leaving your treatment and prior to using any POS pay machines.

We will be installing 30″ high glass at the front desk to minimize droplet transmission.
Therapists, at this time, will be working from separate treatment rooms and days to minimize inter-patient contact.

As indicated above, this will be a slow and measured process of opening the clinic. It would not be prudent or safe for us to open the doors and resume treatment or classes in the manner provided prior to this pandemic. We will do everything we can to provide a safe and smooth transition over the course of June and, with your patience and understanding, implement a system in which you can receive excellent care with minimal risk of exposure.

Please understand that we cannot realistically fit everyone in for treatments immediately. We will do our best to schedule you in a reasonable time frame and develop a regular protocol to ensure your recovery.

Like you, we are looking forward to a “return to normal”. Stay well and see you all soon!

Appointments at the Orthopaedic Sport Institute

We thank everyone for their patience as we proceed during these unprecedented times. We know everyone has questions about when we can open once again for appointments, surgeries etc. The office is proceeding to ensure that it will be safe for everyone to come in for their appointments. As soon as we can accommodate appointments, we will let everyone know.

Non-urgent and elective surgeries have not resumed at the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital yet, and no date has been determined as to when this will happen. Everyone will be notified when surgeries will resume.

We hope that everyone is safe, healthy and practicing social distancing. We hope to see everyone soon.

Complete Concussion Management

Orthopaedic Sport Institute is an official Complete Concussion Management™ clinic. Concussions have become the focus for both professional and amateur athletes around the world, and OSI will continue to be at the forefront of concussion diagnosis, management, and rehabilitation with this collaboration. We utilize a comprehensive, multi-modal approach to concussions, based on current advances in concussion research.

What is a concussion?
A concussion can be simply defined as a disruption in neurological functioning following a significant impact to the head or elsewhere on the body. This causes a biochemical imbalance within brain cells as well as decreased blood flow and temporary energy deficits within the brain.

Following a suspected concussion, a player should be immediately removed from play, assessed and placed on complete rest in order to recover from the energy deficit. Studies have shown that any activity, both mental and physical, in the immediate days following concussion can delay the process of recovery and should be avoided until the athlete is completely symptom free.

What is baseline testing?
The biggest concern surrounding concussions comes from the energy deficit that occurs in the brain following injury. When the brain is in this low energy state, it has been well established that the brain is extremely vulnerable to additional trauma, where even smaller impacts can lead to another concussion. These second concussions can cause severe brain injuries with potentially permanent or fatal outcomes.

The problem is that symptoms (meaning how someone feels) do not coincide with brain recovery. The only way to know when the brain has fully recovered and out of this “vulnerable period” is to compare current brain function to when the individual was healthy – this is what is known as a “baseline test”. Symptom recovery quite often occurs prior to brain recovery – this increases the risk of secondary brain injuries in athletes.

A baseline test is a battery of tests that measures every area of brain function that could potentially become affected following a concussion (you need more than computer tests!!). The reason that the test is termed a “baseline” is because it is done BEFORE the athlete gets injured. In order to know when an athlete has fully recovered, we first have to know where they were when they were healthy. Without having this information, there is no way to truly know when an athlete has fully recovered and is safe to return to their sport.


  • Comprehensive baseline testing
  • Post-injury diagnosis and injury management
  • Concussion rehabilitation for Post-Concussion Syndrome
  • Coach & trainer education and certification programs (online)
  • Concussion Tracker Smartphone application

Concussion Tracker Smartphone Application
Athletes and concussed patients can now log in to view their baseline test results as well as receive rehabilitation exercises, diet plans, and other recovery tips to help them along the way. The app also allows the injured patient (or their parents) to have around the clock communication with the treating clinician as well as provide an update on their symptoms and progress every single day…all from your phone.

Prepare and Prevent with Prehab

As Canadians we have the pleasure of experiencing four seasons which are each accompanied by their own unique challenges. Perhaps the most challenging of seasons, especially as we age, is upon us. Winter can be a difficult time for some as it welcomes snow and ice maintenance around the home, along with unpredictable walking and driving conditions. At the same time, for many people the arrival of winter means the return of ski season, snowshoeing, pond hockey, and other outdoor activities. The associated risks of injury, whether activity, sport, or winter related can be significantly reduced or even prevented with the proper preparation. Preparation and prevention of injury is known as prehabilitation, and should be emphasized in both athletes and non-athletes alike.

“I exercise regularly at the gym, am I reducing my risk of injury?” The answer to this question depends on the amount of variety in your training, and how your workout routine correlates with your everyday movements. Whether your activities involve shoveling the driveway, playing hockey, sitting in a chair eight hours per day, or racing down a mountain on your skis, they all involve muscles that can be subsequently over and underused, and therefore prone to injury.

Imagine two muscle groups with opposite functions;  one group known as the agonists are complemented by another group of muscles, the antagonists. In a sport such as skiing, the agonist muscle group are the quadriceps due to the prolonged positions of hip flexion and variations between knee flexion and extension. The hamstrings and lower back muscles are often in a more lengthened and relaxed state relative to the quads while skiing. The two main concerns with repetitive movement and prolonged positions are the resulting weaknesses of the non-dominant muscles, and tightening of the dominant tissues due to repetitive contractions and muscle shortening.  Through self-awareness of your own active lifestyle, and through physical assessments by a trainer or therapist, the overly strengthened and underdeveloped areas can be identified and corrected . It is important to stretch muscles and tendons that may be used excessively, but sometimes more important to strengthen their counterparts that have been repetitively lengthened, relaxed, and consequently weakened.

Prehabilitation refers to the management of both joint stability and mobility in commonly problematic areas, which in turn are often based on lifestyle. A skier for example heavily emphasizes quad and core based exercises in the off-season, however accessory exercises and prehab work also require attention. Movements opposite those used in everyday activity and sport need to be developed and included in training regimens. Skiers need to shift some focus to releasing and lengthening hip flexors, while strengthening hamstrings and lower back muscles as well. This would also remain true for those with desk jobs, where extended periods of time are spent in hip flexion. Individuals can be predisposed to certain injuries based on their lifestyle and vocation. Prehab exercises serve as a proactive approach to preventing pain and injury to the vulnerable or potentially problematic areas of the body.

Take time to understand the positions and movements you perform on a daily basis. If you have a regular routine at the gym, ensure you are complementing your main movements with exercises to target the opposite muscles as well. Implement joint balancing exercises in your daily routine to maintain joint stability and mobility, and help treat the pain before it happens.

For information about exercises for injury prevention, please contact the Orthopaedic Sport Institute at (705) 467-0701 or

Jordan McCarl, H. BScKin, CSCS

Strength & Conditioning Trainer


The importance of being physically active at all ages is often emphasized and arguably becomes of greater importance as we age. The Orthopaedic Sport Institute is now offering personal training in the form of private and group training to those of all ages, fitness levels, and athletic experience. The trainers at Orthopaedic Sport Institute have experience training athletes and non-athletes alike, in the younger, middle-aged, and elderly population.

Our exercise classes are available to anyone seeking to maintain or improve their health in a small group setting. The group classes promote an enjoyable, friendly, and motivating approach to exercise, while allowing everyone to push themselves at their own pace. The classes focus on all aspects of physical fitness in a functional manner that can be directly applied to everyday activities. Resistance exercise, cardiovascular training, mobility, balance, and coordination are the main focal points of the group sessions. Despite being a group session, the classes are programmed to allow individuals to scale the difficulty and intensity according to their fitness goals and abilities. An initial private assessment is conducted before joining the class to determine current fitness level, strengths and weaknesses, injuries, and individual fitness goals.

Private training is also available, where a program will be created entirely catered to the individual’s needs and goals. Our trainers are experienced in individualized program design and training those of all ages and athletic backgrounds.

For more information about our group exercise classes and private training sessions, please contact the Orthopaedic Sport Institute at (705) 467-0701 or

Jordan McCarl, H. BScKin, CSCS

Strength & Conditioning Trainer


“With age comes wisdom”.  “If I only knew then what I know now”.  “The Golden Years”.

There certainly are enough euphemisms that imply aging is a wonderful and fulfilling experience.  However, many are now coming to realize that as more time passes, we tend to lose more of what we truly enjoy.  Aging comes with its fair share of physical changes that can negatively impact our strength, endurance, balance and overall level of wellness and independence.

Sarcopenia occurs in all individuals – it is a loss of muscle mass with aging that typically begins in your 30’s.  This process is influenced by inactivity, hormone levels (reduction in levels of testosterone, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor), inadequate nutrition and an inability of the body to synthesize protein.  Sarcopenia tends to accelerate between the ages of 65 and 80.

While inactivity can lead to 3-5% loss of muscle mass per decade after the age of 30, improving the volume and intensity of your activity can help to minimize that loss.   How can you specifically combat this process?

Exercise. Exercise. Exercise.

Resistance training has been reported to positively influence the neuromuscular system, hormone concentrations, and protein synthesis rate. Research has shown that a program of progressive resistance training exercises can increase protein synthesis rates in older adults in as little as two weeks.

The good news is muscle mass can increase at any age in response to exercise. In an important study of weight lifting and older adults conducted with residents of a nursing home in Boston (average age 87), subjects lifted weights with their legs three times a week for 10 weeks. At the end of the study, there was an increase in thigh mass of 2.7%, walking speed increased 12%, and leg strength increased 113%!

For further information regarding group exercise programs and individual personal training sessions that are effective in combating sarcopenia, please contact the Orthopaedic Sport Institute at (705) 467-0701 or and ask for a consultation with one of our friendly healthcare professionals.

Darryl Novotny, BScPT

Registered Physiotherapist