A torn meniscus repair procedure was well worth the wait for this high school football star.

Back in Action: Getting Athletes Back in the Game

Image Sabias Folley Rect Image Sabias Folley Rect Image Sabias Folley Rect

During the 2017 football season, Charlottesville High School (CHS) running back Sabias Folley pushed through a torn meniscus for his best season yet. The junior, selected as a first-team Jefferson District and second-team all-region pick, rushed for more than 1,200 yards and scored 27 touchdowns.

"I tore my meniscus in July while doing drills," says Sabias, 17. "It happened the week before football camp, but I really didn't want to miss the season."

Sabias went to see the CHS team doctor, Dr. Matthew Panzarella, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist. He determined Sabias would need surgery to repair the meniscus, the small segment of cartilage that pads the space between the femur and tibia. After a careful review of Sabias' condition, all involved decided to delay surgery so that Sabias could finish the season, and Dr. Panzarella ordered a specialized brace for Sabias that took off some pressure from the torn meniscus. In addition to wearing the brace, Sabias worked with an athletic trainer to strengthen his muscles around his knees.

Dr. Panzarella performed the meniscus repair procedure in early December.

"Everything went great," Sabias says. "Everyone at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital and Dr. Panzarella were awesome."

Sabias missed only a few days of school. He started physical therapy in January and hopes he'll progress quickly, so that he can start workouts with his team.

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