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Lake Oconee Academy’s Monachello Named Athlete of the Month by Piedmont Athens Regional

Athens, Ga. (Dec. 21, 2022) — The Sports Medicine department at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center announced that Jane Monachello, a junior at Lake Oconee Academy, has been named Athlete of the Month. This is a program that recognizes one student athlete each month for showing perseverance through an athletic injury or medical illness, on or off the field.

Monachello, a basketball player and cross-country runner, suffered a hamstring strain, requiring a variety of strengthening and proprioceptive exercises for legs and hips, as well as gradual progression from a stationary bike to functional and sport-specific drills.

"Jane took every opportunity to do rehab and was willing to be flexible with her schedule to ensure she was doing the most she could before her next competition," said Matt Panetta, a Piedmont Athens Regional Orthopedic Sports Medicine athletic trainer assigned to Lake Oconee Academy. "Because of her diligence, Jane completed a week and a half of her rehab protocol before being cleared for competition. She has now finished her therapy protocol and is full-go return to sport."

The hamstring is a group of three muscles that run along the back of the thigh, allowing the leg to bend at the knee. Hamstring injuries may occur when one or more of the muscles is stretched too far and are common in sports such as cross country and basketball or sports that involve running with sudden starts and stops.

Hamstring strains vary in severity with mild cases often responding to self-care measures such as rest, ice, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines, and stretching. More severe strains may require rehabilitation or even surgery. Athletic trainers, like Panetta, also work with athletes on stretching and strengthening exercises to prevent muscle injuries.

“Jane is engaged, optimistic, and kindhearted,” said Panetta. “In addition to her rehab sessions, she worked with me during every football game this season to improve hydration strategies. She is a very well-rounded athlete.”

The Orthopedic Sports Medicine team at Piedmont Athens Regional established the Athlete of the Month program to recognize hard-working student athletes in the area.

"The athletes we work with are truly amazing and have to overcome so much in order to play sports again after an injury or illness," said Katie Terrell, athletic trainer and outreach coordinator for the hospital’s sports medicine program. "The award was developed to celebrate their hard work in our sports medicine rehab program. Each month, we focus on one high school and meet as a committee, which includes the school’s athletic director, other members of their team and members of the athletic training program."

As the Athlete of the Month, Monachello received a certificate and is featured in the Orthopedic Sports Medicine facility located on Piedmont’s Oconee Health Campus in Watkinsville, Ga. Read more information on services offered by Piedmont Physicians Orthopedic Sports Medicine of Athens.

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