Athletic Training Students Learn Technique using Luna’s Joint Reduction Trainer

There is a new need for Athletic Trainers in the US to be more confident and comfortable when reducing joint dislocations. Historically, performing closed-reductions was considered to be outside the scope of Athletic Trainers (ATs), and when an athlete suffered a dislocated shoulder, only a physician would address the injury and relocate the joint. This stance recently changed when the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) clarified that closed joint reductions are now within the scope of practice for ATs, effective on January 1, 2020. Accordingly, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) now requires joint reduction to be included in the curriculum at all certified university AT degree programs.

Data showing the benefits of swiftly addressing dislocated joints is driving rationale for ATs to perform on-site reductions, rather than first transferring patients to urgent care or the emergency room. Prompt reduction of the injured joint has shown to increase patient comfort, joint integrity, and functional outcomes. The likelihood of a successful relocation is higher with a prompt reduction attempt, and, addressing the injury on-site can limit the cost of healthcare while reducing psychological trauma for the patient.1 There are over 50,000 professional ATs and thousands of degree-seeking students nationwide who require the skills to effectively treat joint dislocations.2 Program directors and educators are charged with preparing this group of professionals, but are facing limited resources for demonstrating and teaching joint reductions.

To improve training of current and future ATs, Luna has developed the Joint Reduction Task Trainer as a new resource for teaching closed reduction techniques through realistic, hands-on learning experiences. Luna’s trainer is a biofidelic, table-top tool for demonstrating and practicing reduction of the glenohumeral joint. Developed in close collaboration with orthopaedic surgeons, this trainer uses realistic anatomy to accurately teach a variety of reduction techniques. 

Luna Joint Reduction Trainer UVA Athletic Training
University of Virginia M.S. in Athletic Training students work with Luna's Joint Reduction Task Trainer.

Collaborators from the University of Virginia invited Luna’s Biotech team to demonstrate the Joint Reduction Task Trainer at a recent seminar for UVA’s Masters of Athletic Training students. After brief demonstrations from Luna, orthopaedic surgeons seamlessly integrated the trainer into the lecture and hands-on teaching sessions. Neither instructor had previous experience with Luna’s trainer, yet both surgeons were able to use key anatomical landmarks on the trainer to guide technique and provide one-on-one practice with students. Each student was able to feel the proper pathway for different techniques, and for the first time, students were able to experience a successful reduction during a training session.

In addition to the glenohumeral reduction trainer, Luna has developed a trainer for reducing interphalangeal joints. The “finger” trainer is composed of a hand that can simulate a dislocated index finger. Both the glenohumeral and interphalangeal joint reduction task trainers were used by instructors to teach students during the UVA seminar. To request a virtual demonstration of Luna’s Joint Reduction Task Trainers, or to reach Luna about these products, please contact the Luna Labs Biotech team through [email protected]. Luna plans to make the Joint Reduction Task Trainer products available for purchase in early 2021. 

Development of Luna’s Joint Reduction Task Trainer was funded by the US Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA) through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Stay tuned as more information becomes available on Luna’s website.

[1] Wright  CJ, Brandon BA, Reisman, EJ. Closed-Reduction Techniques for Glenohumeral-, Patellofemoral-, and Interphalangeal-Joint Dislocations
[2] National Athletic Trainers’ Association. Profile of Athletic Trainers. 2016.