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Two of the Pittsburgh biggest sports stars: Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu, used a method (platelet-rich plasma therapy) which includes process where they use their own blood in an new and very promising injury treatment before went on winning the Super Bowl. At least one sportsmen of major league pitchers, aproximetely twenty professional soccer (football) players and most likely 1000 of recreational athletes have also undergone this unique procedure, which is referred as platelet-rich plasma therapy.
Specialists in field of sports medicine have said that this technique could lead to improvement of treatment of injuries like tennis elbow and knee tendinitis in all kinds of sports.
This method is surprisingly straight forward and is non complex to perform, the principle - injecting patient’s ( athletes) own blood directly into the injured area, this catalyzes the body’s instincts to repair muscle tissue and bone in injured area. Most strikingly some doctors say that this method shows promise in helping of regeneration of ligament and tendon fibers, that could shorten rehabilitation expenses, time and even possibly avoid surgery.
Many researchers in the field are suspecting that the procedure could become an promising course of treatment for because of medical and financial reasons.
Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ team physician, used platelet-rich plasma therapy in July on a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in the throwing elbow of pitcher Takashi Saito. Surgery would have ended Mr. Saito’s season and and got him off the sport for a year or more ,instead he returned to pitch in the September helathy and ready to do his job.
.“For the last several decades, we’ve been working on the mechanical effects of healing — the strongest suture constructs, can we put strong anchors in?” Dr. ElAttrache said. “The word I should use in this situation is promising.”
The common idea among doctors is that the method is worth researching further . Part of doctors said that platelet-rich plasma therapy as it is right now, appeared ineffective in about 20 percent of studies, and also effectiveness was depending on the injury. But doctors noted that the procedure costs approximately 2 thousand dollars in comparision with $10,000 to $15,000 for surgery. Thus insurance companies will not only authorize this method of therapy but eventually will require it as a first course of treatment.
The possibilities of PRP are quite clear to the Steelers. Mr. Polamalu, an All-Pro safety, had the procedure for a strained calf after a playoff game and surprisingly enough - he returned healthy enough after a week against the Baltimore Ravens to show an interception forty yards for a touchdown.
The method was important with Mr. Ward, a receiver who left that Baltimore game in the 1st quarter with a sprain of the medial collateral ligament in knee. The next day, he was treated with PRP therapy , which features various proportions of platelets and other cells. Along with rehabilitation and oxygen therapy, Ward recovered to such state to make 2 catches in the Super Bowl, in which the Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals.
Most of medical specialists said that if PRP was scientifically proven to be safe and effective, its largest effects cpuld be on the amateur, weekend warriors for whom sports are recreation and also part of healthy lifestyle. Stanford’s Dr. Mishra said: “It’s not just the professionals who needs to get back on the horse. Everyone wants and needs to get back to what they do for recreation.healthy lifestyle or for work.”