The Dallas Cowboys will kick off the 2012 NFL season against the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants tonight with a new high-tech weapon at their disposal. GE’s innovative portable ultrasound system, LOGIQ e, can quickly scan players for injuries and assist team doctors with treatment. “Every game counts for us,” says the Cowboys’ Head Athletic Trainer Jim Maurer. “In baseball they have 160 games and we have 16. One of our games counts for 10 of theirs. Every chance we can get a guy out there to play, even in a partial role, if we can put him safely on the field, that’s going to equate to wins for us and put us on our way to the Super Bowl, we hope.”
“Every game counts for us,” says the Cowboys’ Head Athletic Trainer Jim Maurer. “No stone is left unturned.”
Maurer says that the Cowboys’ acquired the machine last year. It makes things easier, Maurer says. He recalls when a visiting team’s quarterback hurt his ribs just a few years ago, the team “brought a whole C-arm” X-ray machine to Dallas. “You can imagine the logistics trying to get that transferred in just for the day to use,” Maurer says. “We really didn’t have much to go by until the ultrasound technology was made available.”
The Cowboys have used the LOGIQ e “on a daily basis” to diagnose and evaluate bone and muscle injuries. “Especially hamstring, because it’s a typical injury,” Maurer says. He says that “it’s cool to see where the hamstring is and where fluid may be retained. A lot of times gravity takes effect and it might be swollen down lower than the actual injury site. We obviously want to make sure that we are treating the site of the injury.”
The Cowboys have also employed other GE medical technology, including a research-grade body composition analyzer, Lunar InBody 720*. This body scanning system helps the team nutritionist (hired last year) and athletic trainers to tailor the players’ weight, training and nutrition to achieve peak performance. Unlike the body mass index (BMI), the system gives precise measurements of each player’s body composition, including such information as body water, lean body mass, body fat mass, percent body fat, and basal metabolic rate. “No stone is left unturned,” Maurer says.
Maurer says that every Cowboy gets scanned by the technology and that the procedure is now part of the players’ physical. He says that players usually get a scan at the beginning, the middle and the end of the season. “But there is going to be 10 to 20 guys who want to do it every week,” Maurer says. “They want to see how they are doing and check those gains and losses. The guys get pretty competitive about it and this new system is so detailed that the competition can come down to minute parts.”
* InBody is a trademark of Biospace Co., Ltd.