Sofia Marquez, 17, was thrilled to be playing her favorite sport at a travel team level. On Sunday, March 8, she was warming up with her team at a weekend tournament in Louisville, KY. Sofia jumped to hit the ball, and at the same time, a member of the other team rolled a ball under the net. Sofia landed on the ball and injured her ankle – she was in so much pain she had needed assistance walking off the court and even passed out from the pain.
Sofia’s mom knew her daughter was hurt and made an appointment with Dr. Carlos Gomez at Wood County Advanced Orthopaedics for Monday, March 9. In the office, Dr. Gomez had an X-ray done, and there was no fracture. He felt there was still something more than a sprain, so he ordered an MRI for a closer look. The MRI revealed two stress fractures and a sprained ligament. Both of which would require a boot, rest and therapy. Sofia was devastated; she could not play volleyball. But at the same time, COVID became an everyday word, and volleyball was suspended.
Sofia was in a boot and on a scooter for over a month during the quarantine. She followed the doctor’s orders and did not walk on it during this time. She attended her appointments, where Dr. Gomez gave specific directions for stretches, exercises and mobility. Quarantine ended, and Sofia remained in the boot.
On June 15, Dr. Gomez gave Sofia the go-ahead to remove her boot. She continued following Dr. Gomez’s plan and started physical therapy two times a week. After two weeks, there were significant improvements in her mobility. During her Rehabilitation, the main emphasis was on regaining her ankle range of motion, then strengthening her lower extremity. Following this, the focus was to improve Sofia’s proprioceptive balance and return to a functional activity progression needed for her to return to volleyball.
Because her therapy was working, she started working with the team again. At the same time, Sofia’s team found out they were going to nationals, and Sofia knew she needed to be there. Dr. Gomez told her, “If you follow the plan, you will play.” That is what she did.
Sofia went through 20 physical therapy sessions over two months to help her return to volleyball.
Sofia and her team won the National title, and Sofia played a significant role in that success. After a serious injury, Sofia strengthened and returned to play a position that required her to be agile and move quickly in just two months.
“Thanks to Dr. Gomez, I was able to play for my team and go to nationals, and I felt strong,” Sofia said. “Rehab and my appointments with Dr. Gomez helped me heal and gave me the range I needed to play the middle position and help my team win at Nationals.”
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