Wednesday July 22, 2009: New York Times

Cutting-edge, platelet-rich plasma therapy emerging as new option for ailing athletes

The procedure, which takes less than an hour, is designed to jump-start the body's ability to heal itself with few side effects or risks. A few tablespoons of the patient's blood are spun in a centrifuge, concentrating platelets into about a teaspoon of PRP, which is injected into the injured area.

Platelets are a natural source of growth factors, which recruit other cells to enhance tissue regeneration and healing. Those effects are multiplied in PRP, which can have a concentration of platelets four to 10 times the normal level in blood. For acute injuries, ones that have just occurred, healing can be accelerated by 30 to 50 percent, Monaco said.

by Jenny Vrentas/The Star-Ledger


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Saturday July 18, 2009, 10:23 PM

New procedure could hasten Nady’s return

Yankees outfielder Xavier Nady is attempting a cutting-edge medical procedure that could help him return to the team far earlier than expected.

Nady told The Journal News today that he is having platelet-rich plasma injected directly into the area around the partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The procedure was successfully used by right-handed reliever Takashi Saito last season. Saito, who is now with the Red Sox, was able to avoid Tommy John Surgery. Like Nady, he had a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament.


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Feb 16 2009

A Promising Treatment for Athletes, in Blood

Two of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ biggest stars, Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu, used their own blood in an innovative injury treatment before winning the Super Bowl. At least one major league pitcher, about 20 professional soccer players and perhaps hundreds of recreational athletes have also undergone the procedure, commonly called platelet-rich plasma therapy.

Experts in sports medicine say that if the technique’s early promise is fulfilled, it could eventually improve the treatment of stubborn injuries like tennis elbow and knee tendinitis for athletes of all types.


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