Young Soccer Star Overcomes Sport Injury

Published on: 06/06/2022

Stephanie has been playing soccer since the age of four. The star goalkeeper not only plays for her high school, she also is part of a competitive travel team that has won accolades throughout Florida.

Her shining soccer career came to a sudden halt when she injured her shoulder.

“She landed and hurt herself pretty badly. At first, we thought it was badly bruised so we tried icing it and rest. When months passed with recurrent pain and looseness, we knew we had to see a specialist,” said her father, Bob.

The family turned to Dr. Roger Saldana, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon who specializes in pediatric sports medicine. Dr. Saldana’s patients include some of the most elite young athletes who have experienced a sports-related injury, and require orthopedic attention for a safe return to sport.  

Stephanie defends soccer ball from going in the net.

“Stephanie needed surgery to repair a torn labrum in her shoulder. It is an injury we do see often in athletes and one that requires surgery in order to reattach the labral tissue to its place,” said Dr. Roger Saldana.

For Stephanie and her family, the mention of a surgery was a difficult to hear.

“She worried about how long she would have to be out of soccer and what her future would be like. It definitely was devastating to hear,” said Bob.

Stephanie took on the challenge with hope and determination. 

Stephanie kicking a soccer ball in a game.

After her successful surgery, Stephanie worked hard to recover. Her shoulder was immobilized for six weeks and she underwent five months of physical therapy to get her new shoulder back into shape.

“She was very compliant and did well in her recovery. She put in the time to ensure her shoulder properly healed and, as a result, has been able to return to the sport she loves, participating at a very high level,” says Dr. Saldana.

Stephanie was able to play in her first game six months after her surgery. She has plans to play in college someday, and is excited about visiting schools this summer. 

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