Stories about: Mininder Kocher

For a yogi, holistic medicine and surgery go hand in hand

Kocher David
Dr. Mininder Kocher talking with David before surgery on Oct. 14

In any yoga class David Vendetti teaches, there’s sure to be laughing, tears and abundant hugs. David co-owns South Boston Yoga — New England’s largest yoga studio — and teaches every class with positivity and true heart. His unique style has garnered him awards, invitations to travel and, most importantly for David, the respect of the 200 students who come through his studio every day.

Teaching students and training teachers day in and day out requires a healthy mind and body, which had become more and more difficult for David after suffering from 10 years of mild lower back and hip pain. “I learned that chronic pain is not only a physical burden but also an emotional one,” says David. “As the pain got more intense, I tried everything,” he explains. “I saw two physical therapists, two different body workers and a chiropractor.”

Then two and a half years ago, things took a sharp turn for the worse. David flew from Boston to Athens to teach a workshop and threw out his back right after checking into the hotel. “It felt like something horrible was happening,” he remembers. “The pain moved to my neck, down into my back and finally settled very painfully into my hips.”

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One patient’s story: From torn ACL to MVP

For kids like 8-year-old Fletcher Gallimore, playing sports is part of their identity. But in September of 2011, Fletcher—who loves football and basketball—was accidentally pushed into a post during football practice, hitting his knee. And the accident took him and his parents down a path they never imagined.

The next days followed with occasional pain, but Fletcher and his teammates hoped he’d be OK by Saturday’s game. At practice that week, though, his knee buckled. Concerned, his parents took him to the doctor near their North Carolina hometown, and it became clear that Fletcher wouldn’t be playing on Saturday, after all.

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test showed that Fletcher had completely torn his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), a major ligament in the knee that protects cartilage and keeps the knee stable. If Fletcher ever wanted to play football again, he would need to have surgery. The question was, when?

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Children’s in the news: ACL on the rise in young athletes

ABC World News recently ran a story featuring Children’s Hospital Boston patient Caleb Seymour, an 8-year-old football player who tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) on the field. Unfortunately, Caleb is just one of many young athletes facing this type of knee injury. Recent data shows ACL tears are rising rapidly among young people, and their long-term effects can be substantial. Kids who suffer serious ACL damage can have life-long problems with leg mobility, uneven leg growth or arthritis.

To help Caleb avoid these problems and get back on the field, Mininder Kocher, MD, MPH, associate director of Children’s Division of Sports Medicine, has been working with Caleb and his family to get the young man back in playing shape. He’s also been teaching them stretching exercises and other tips that will help him avoid similar injuries in the future.

And while rehab is tough work, Caleb gets inspiration from a another New England football player who also suffered an ACL tear: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

World News Videos | ABC World News

To find out more about this topic, read the full archive of Thriving posts on sports injury in kids or request an appointment at Children’s. In 2011, Children’s Hospital Boston was ranked #1 in the category of pediatric orthopedics by U.S. News & World Report.

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