Falcons, Emory open new facility in Flowery Branch

College football programs use barber shops, swimming pools and plenty other gimmicks to recruit the best talent for their teams.

For the Falcons hoping to attract top free agents, the new Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center at Flowery Branch is the latest "wow factor" in their recruiting pitch.

"I think from a free agent standpoint, this facility is a huge draw. More and more, player safety and wellness is at the forefront of both teams’ minds but also players’ minds, too," Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan told FOX 5 Sports. "When you have access to a facility like this, right here, next to our training facility, next to the practice fields, next to our indoor facility, it’s a huge draw for guys."

The 29,000-square-foot facility houses technology like three 3.0 Tesla MRI scanners, which show a futuristic view in a fraction of traditional scan times as well as digital X-ray machines with less radiation.

"I think all players’ hope is to not spend much time in there, but reality of it is that’s part of the sport that we play," Ryan said. "One of the things I’m fired up about is the MRI machines here, basically half the amount of time that other MRI machines take. That’s one of those things, the less time you have to spend in there the better, and that’s gonna help guys out."

"Not just getting guys back on the field, but again when you’re bringing in players and assessing whether that’s college or pro players, but in that evaluation process -- that’s going to help us get that information quickly," Falcons GM Terry Fontenot said.

And to help with that recovery process, the Flowery Branch facility also houses the Sports Performance and Research Center, outfitted with the highest-grade technologies in biomechanics, neuroscience, virtual reality and performance training, with Emory’s goal being to become a global leader in athlete performance research, injury recovery and injury prevention.

The 5,000-square-foot Sports Performance and Research Center is dedicated to 3D real-time motion analysis, making it one of the largest free-ambulatory, sports-motion analysis centers in the world. The laboratory is outfitted with 156 motion-analysis capture cameras (high speed video, optoelectronic and infrared), 13 force plate platforms, an embedded high-performance, force-instrumented treadmill and wireless electromyography.

"We don’t want people to think this is just for the Atlanta Falcons," said Dr. Scott Boden, Emory Healthcare VP for Business Innovation and director of the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center. "In fact, the majority of patients here will not be Atlanta Falcons; they’ll be residents from the community, whether you’re a school athlete with a problem or a weekend warrior or somebody who needs a knee replacement or spine surgery or hand or shoulder, we have that whole gamut of Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center, with this now being our northern-most regional office. And we’re here to have our entire team be able to diagnose and treat you. And it’s a little more interesting to do it looking over the Falcons practice facility."

For those interested in the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center at Flowery Branch's services, it offers medical, diagnostic, physical therapy and nonsurgical treatment services for sports, joints and spine issues.

For more information or to make an appointment, visit www.emoryhealthcare.org/flowerybranch.