My PRP experience

I haven’t told a lot of people, but for the past 5 weeks I have been receiving PRP injections in my knee to help reduce swelling and heal some articular cartilage damage. If you aren’t familiar with PRP, it is the same treatment Kobe had here in Germany, as well as Alex Rodriguez and many other professional athletes over the past couple of summers. After hearing about the treatment, the team physician recommended that I receive injections over the course of 5 weeks, which would enable me to return to the court at full strength within 6 weeks. I am in the 5th week of injections, and will be playing again in a week and a half for our next home game — so the treatment has been going VERY well.

A little background information about PRP and its usage in sports can be found at http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/7387602/report-los-angeles-lakers-kobe-bryant-revisited-german-doctor-ankle as well as http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2012/02/nick-young-gilbert-arenas-got-that-kobe-treatment-on-his-knees/

I was approached by a PRP information website to be interviewed about my experience with the treatment, and here is my interview with PRPtreatments.org (taken from http://www.prptreatments.org):

The following is a PRP Patient Experience with a professional basketball player in Germany…

What was your injury that was treated with pro?

I had a small chondral defect on the inside of my knee. I previously had had a chondroplasty before the beginning of this season as well as a partial meniscotomy, and the swelling from the chondroplasty hadn’t subsided or healed by this point in my season.

Did you try any other therapy before you opted for prp treatment?

Manual therapy and ice were used constantly to try to move the swelling out of my knee as well as draining the fluid out of my knee.

Why did your physician decide to utilize prp for this injury?

PRP was the best way to speed up the healing process, as well as giving me a chance to continue playing this season.

What medical facility did your physician perform this treatment? Hospital? Physician clinic?

It was done here in Germany at a Physician clinic.

Did your physician have you follow a specific protocol the night before your prp treatment?

No, the night before I didn’t do anything outside of my regular routine of getting a massage around the area of swelling and ice.

Do you remember how much blood was drawn from you? After they drew the blood, how long did you have to wait before the platelet rich plasma was ready for use on your injury?

I do not remember how much blood was drawn, but it was about 15 minutes before the platelet rich plasma was ready to be injected.

What did the physician do to prepare the injury site for injection?

The physician used numbing spray to numb the area.

Did the physician use ultrasound as a guide to place the platelet rich plasma?

Because it was a cartilage defect; he just injected the platelet rich plasma directly into my knee.

How did the injection feel? Explain. And do you remember how long the prp treatment took? If you had pain, how long did the pain last? Any swelling?

The injection felt just like getting a cortisone shot in my knee. There was no real discomfort besides the feeling of having a needle in my knee. The entire injection process took about 2 minutes. There was no swelling after the injection; just a bit of a pinch at the injection site.

How long did the entire visit take?

The entire visit from start to finish took around 35 minutes, including a bit of a discussion by the physician detailing what he was doing as he did it.

After treatment, did your physician wrap the treatment site? If not, what did he do post treatment?

After treatment the physician wrapped a small bandage over the injection site, and told me to continue icing the area

What was your physicians post prp treatment protocol for you? Restrictions? Rest? Exercise? Stretching? Pain medication? Any specific directions you had to follow?

Post PRP protocol for me involves more rest (as I’m still getting the injections) and ice. There were no specific directions I had to follow, but I am just trying to stay off my knee as much as possible and keep ice on it.

How much was the prp treatment?

The PRP treatment was offered to me at a very reduced cost through the team; I am not sure how much it would have costed if it was not the team physician who prescribed it and is performing it.

Did the treatment work for you? If so, when did you start feeling better? How soon could you bet back to playing your sport?

So far it is a bit early to determine if it has worked completely, because I still am scheduled to receive 5 more injections over the next 5 weeks. But my first impression is very positive and I look forward to seeing my progress over the next weeks.

Other comments or thoughts about your prp experience?

My experience isn’t the normal experience… I am a professional basketball player in Europe, so the cost is much less as it would be for others, and the demands on my knee are a bit higher. But if by the end of my PRP treatment I am able to play at a consistently high level without swelling then I will be more than pleased with it.

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