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Josh Woelfl Named Athlete of the Month by Piedmont Athens Regional

Athens, Ga. (May 16, 2023) — The Sports Medicine department at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center named a rising ninth grader and football player at Oconee High School, Josh Woelfl, Athlete of the Month, an award given each month to a student athlete who has shown perseverance while dealing with an injury or illness.

Described as a highly-motivated, positive patient, Woelfl is now seven months into his recovery from ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) reconstruction surgery and making significant progress toward returning to play.

"Return to sport from ACL reconstruction can take anywhere from six months to a year and almost two years before an athlete returns to pre-injury activity levels," said Matt Cheek, a Piedmont Athens Regional Orthopedic Physical Therapy Assistant. "Josh has been incredibly diligent in his workouts, both in our training sessions and at home. He approaches his recovery with a ‘can-do’ attitude and sets a high standard of perfection for himself."There are four major ligaments in the knee that connect the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shin bone), and when damaged, they may cause the knee joint to become unstable. The ACL is located in the center of the knee and controls the rotation and forward movement of the tibia. A torn ACL severely limits knee movement, including the ability to pivot, turn, or twist the leg. Reconstruction surgery restores stability and a full range of motion to the knee.

"Post-operative ACL reconstruction rehab protocols are very strict and difficult and require hard work and consistency throughout the entire recovery period," said Cheek. "Josh is committed to putting in the time and effort needed during our sessions as well as the hours outside of physical therapy that are essential to making a full recovery."

The Piedmont Athens Regional Orthopedic Sports Medicine team established the Athlete of the Month program to recognize the dedication of 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, Woelfl received a certificate and is featured in the Orthopedic Sports Medicine facility located on Piedmont’s Oconee Health Campus in Watkinsville, Ga.

Find out more information about services offered by Piedmont Physicians Orthopedic Sports Medicine of Athens.

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