Off The Sidelines
Eighth grader Tom Aitken, 13, of Hopkinton, hyper-extended his knee while playing Pop Warner football last fall. Tom recalls that he was running in for a touchdown when he got flipped over backwards. “My leg went one way and my body went another,” he said. “Dr. Vazquez knew what was going on right away and that it was a hyperextension. He told me what to do and not what to do, and to set limits like keeping my weight off it, using crutches, not doing physical education, and not riding a bike.”
Tom wore a cast for three weeks, and then had his knee in an immobilizer for continued support and healing. He also underwent physical therapy to rebuild his muscle tone and flexibility. “It feels a lot better now than when it happened,” said Tom. “I’m looking forward to dirt biking and snowmobiling this winter.”
His mother, Nancy, said that she was impressed with Dr. Vazquez’s sincerity, knowledge and the time he spent with her family. “He spoke not only at my level, but at Tom’s level,” Nancy explained. “He talked about how Tom got hurt, asked about his football and what position he played, and identified with him. At the exam, he pretty much pinpointed what was wrong, and we just had to clarify it with the MRI. He made a bad experience tolerable and set our minds at ease.”
Dr. Vazquez cites fractures, rotator cuff injuries, shoulder tears, knee tears, muscle strains and sprains, overuse injuries, and cases of tendonitis as common sports medicine problems. Many conditions, like Tom’s, improve with anti-inflammatory medicine, immobilizing, and physical therapy. However, when surgery is necessary, Dr. Vazquez said that Milford Regional sets a high standard.
“As far as measuring up to the other hospitals I’ve been in, Milford Regional is right up there with its patient care and facilities,” he said with assurance. “The operating rooms are new, the facilities are excellent, and the staff has been great from the anesthesiologists to the nurses.”
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