PT Northwest Success Story: Sarah Falardeau

physical therapy sports injury

Sarah Falardeau has been in love since childhood—with basketball, that is. The Willamette Valley Christian School high schooler started playing in Kindergarten through a program called Upwards. She continued through middle school and until now, picking up other sports along the way such as volleyball and track. Throughout it all, though, basketball remained her true passion.

During her sophomore year, though, something happened that benched her for a while as PT Northwest provided Sarah physical therapy sports injury rehabilitation.

As she was getting ready for a game, she paused. Normally, she wore ankle braces, but it has been such a long time since she had sprained her ankle she wondered if she needed them anymore.

“But for some strange reason, I kept tying them,” she said.

That game soon turned into the best one of her season. Sarah was on fire, winning the jump ball as soon as the whistle blew. But she had an opponent who was watching her, and this girl figured out how to take Sarah down.

During the second quarter, Sarah stole the ball and was headed on the fast break. As her feet left the ground, a body crashed into her leg just below the hip, causing her whole body to go off balance.

“Within one second, I was on the ground, hovering over my ankle, clenching my jaw, and fighting back tears,” she said.

Her parents, who were in attendance at the game, rushed her to the emergency room. There, she got two pieces of news: one was that she would need surgery. The other was that her season was effectively over.

“With two ligaments torn clean through and the third stretched to its extreme, I had to have surgery,” she said. “The doctor told me it would have hurt less if I had just broken my foot and ankle.”

After surgery came crutches and then a walking boot. Once she was in the boot, she started working with Nic Siewert, DPT, OCS here at PT Northwest. Sarah said he “really is the best” and challenged her beyond what she was used to in regular sports conditioning.

“We typically do about 50 squats every day,” she said. “Nic was having me do single leg squats, jumping squats, and every other kind there is, plus more.”

By the time her junior year rolled around, she was ready both physically and mentally to jump back into sports, winning first place in long jump at the state track competition.

“I wanted to throw away sports because I was scared I would get injured again, but there was a voice in my head saying, ‘Come on! You can do this Sarah! Don’t give up on your dreams.’”

At PT Northwest, we take great pride in helping local athletes such as Sarah get back into the game! We work with a number of local high schools, so if your athlete needs help, you can rely on us.