5/31/23 blog post
Sophia overcomes injury with the Center for the Female Athlete
Sophia Meadows was an active teenager, getting ready to start her freshman year of high school at Springfield High School, when she was injured during a club soccer game.
As goalkeeper for her team, she went to make a save and fell on her knee wrong. Her mom, Shannon, rushed her to the emergency department at Dayton Children’s Hospital to learn the extent of her injury. The team in the emergency department suspected an ACL tear and referred her to Dayton Children’s U.S. News & World Report ranked orthopedics team.
In her initial appointment with Sarah Steward, MD, pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Dayton Children’s, she confirmed that Sophia had in fact torn her ACL. She would need to have surgery in order get it repaired and get back on the field.
Leading up to surgery, Sophia met with the rehab team at Dayton Children’s to begin a “pre-hab” program, which worked to return her knee back to the size and strength she had before their injury. Research shows that this helps better prepare the knee for surgery.
During this time, she also met with the Center for the Female Athlete, an innovative, multidisciplinary program designed to tackle barriers and gaps in female athletes’ physical, nutritional and emotional health. Sophia had seen billboards and social media posts about the program, but didn’t realize all it had to offer until she became a patient.
The Center for the Female Athlete team gave Sophia the tools to help manage her injury and recovery. She met with the team’s dietician, Maria Brumfield, MS, RDN, LD to discuss caloric intake while she was recovering and suggestions for snacks and meals. Sophia also met with behavioral health specialist, Linh-Han Ikehera, MSW, LISW-S, to learn tools for resiliency, visualization and managing the disappointment from missing her first high school season of soccer.
“I really credit the entire Center for the Female Athlete team with Sophia’s recovery,” said Shannon. “The connections she made with the all-female team were instant. They were having real conversations with Sophia, not just consultations. It’s really been an amazing privilege to be able to watch her engage and interact with the greater team.”
While she wasn’t able to be on the field with her teammates, Sophia still supported them, attending every practice and game, motivating and cheering them on from the sidelines. And now, with the Center for the Female Athlete team’s support and tools in her back pocket, Sophia is prepared to get back on the field and join them this summer.
The impact of the Center for the Female Athlete doesn’t stop there. After experiencing everything the program has to offer, Sophia is considering a career in sports medicine where she can be part of the next generation supporting female athletes.
To learn more about the Center for the Female Athlete, families can visit www.childrensdayton.org/centerforthefemaleathlete. Athletes can also schedule a free 30-minute consult with one of the center’s athletic trainers to learn more about the program and see if they are a good fit.