Jaina Eckert


Hi, my name is Jaina Eckert, and I am on the Notre Dame Women's Soccer team. My story with injuries began when I was twelve years old, and I was diagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter disease and Patella tendonosis on my left knee. It got to the point where I could not walk without a major limp. After several months of physical therapy and rest, I was able to come back to play the game I love. After that, my story turns to a multitude of injuries with one right after the other. I was in the physical therapist's office every six months with an injury, both old and new. The only upside was no surgery was required. That stopped being the case in July of 2016. I started to feel pain in my left shoulder whenever I dove to get a ball. I went to the orthopedic surgeon, and he said I had torn my labrum completely apart and loosened the capsule of my shoulder. I would need surgery, but I pushed through the pain to play in the season for the next five months. Then, in December 2016, I finally had it operated on. My second game back to play, I dove and saved a PK shot and heard a pop in my shoulder with immediate pain. Turns out I got a second degree AC separation, which is where your collar bone and shoulder socket separate from each other. Luckily, this only takes four to six weeks to heal. Four weeks later in training, I do it again, but this time with worse pain and separation. I had to miss another six weeks of play because of it. A few months later I developed snapping scapula in that same shoulder. That is when the shoulder blade gets caught on the ribs and locks in place. The physical therapy for that took three months for it to finally go away. Now by the time that pain went away, I was going into the summer before my first year of college. I was getting ready to go into preseason not injured and healthy. That was going well until June 24 2018 I spun to turn, and my knee stayed firmly where it was. I felt a pop and immediate pain. I was able to walk over to the car, so I thought I was okay and nothing major happened. That is until the next day my knee was so painful and swollen I could hardly walk. After four days of being propped up on the couch and icing every hour, I went to see my surgeon. He told me one of the nightmares you have as a player, I tore my ACL. I would have surgery the next day. Once I came out of the surgery, I was told surprise! I did not tear my ACL, but rather shredded the ligament right next to it and crushed the fat pad in my knee so my knee was filling up with fluid and blood too quickly to be absorbed. I had to miss all of preseason and three fourths of the season before I was cleared to play. I was healthy for three weeks until I started to feel pain in my shins and calves after I ran for a while. I was diagnosed with shin splints, but when I did not get better, I was again misdiagnosed with a stress fracture. I was in a boot for eight weeks into January before I saw my surgeon back home, and he diagnosed me with Exertional Compartment Syndrome. I would need surgery on both my shins to open up all eight of my compartments. I am currently trying to get cleared from this surgery as I go into my second preseason. Despite all of these injuries and surgeries, I will never give up and I will never stop playing soccer.

Bailey Cartwright