It’s August during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Abbey D’Agostino is a runner in the 5,000-meter preliminary heat. She smiles and waves at the camera as it pans in front of the participants at their starting blocks — a positive, self-assured smile that stands out amongst the competitive grimaces around her. In this moment, she is where all track and field athletes aspire to be — at the pinnacle of their sport in an Olympic stadium.
Young athletes benefit from playing sports in a variety of ways — from better fitness and overall health to higher self-esteem and improved academic achievement. But with this participation comes the risk of injury.
While some injuries build up over time and cause pain that is often ignored, others may be random and unexpected. Dr. Dennis Kramer, a sports medicine orthopedic surgeon at Boston Children’s Hospital, explains what may put an athlete at risk for an overuse injury and how to minimize the risk of traumatic injuries, such as an ACL tear. …
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Aspiring football player Caleb Seymour dreams about playing for the New England Patriots. He idolizes Tom Brady and will be wearing his #12 jersey on Super Bowl Sunday. Three years ago, when Caleb was 8-years old, he forged a different bond with his hero. Caleb, like Brady, tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) playing football.
Caleb’s parents, Lisa and Michael Seymour of Holden, Maine, brought their son to Boston Children’s Hospital, where Mininder Kocher, MD, MPH, associate director of the sports medicine division, reconstructed Caleb’s torn ligament in November 2011.
But Caleb faced a long road—recovering from an ACL injury is a six-to-nine month process. It meant no football. It was tough to sit on the sidelines, says Caleb.
But Caleb got some special advice about rehabilitating his knee and preventing future ACL tears during a surprise visit from Tom Brady himself.
“He was so nice to me and motivated me to keep working hard on my knee and keep playing football,” says Caleb. “I know he will motivate his team to do good and WIN!!!”
Now, Caleb hopes to return the favor with some advice for other young athletes.