Sports injuries always have been issues among intercollegiate
and professional sports. According to Journal Athletic Training, about
50% of intercollegiate student athletes have experienced sports injuries. The
sports injuries include sprain, strain, concussion, fracture, and many other
injuries. Many intercollegiate student athletes and professional sports
athletes suffered these types of injuries in their career and had to sit out
sideline for a short or long term. Then they had to go through treatment and
rehabilitation process in order to return to play. Now days, the advanced
medical technology helps diminish these treatment and rehabilitation process
time so they can return to play faster.
According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention and
National Athletic Trainers’ Association, the most common sports injuries are
musculoskeletal and connective tissue injuries for example, muscle strain and
ligament sprain. Muscle strain is tear or overstretch of muscle fiber and
ligament sprain is tear or overstretch of ligaments which connect bones. Recovery
time of muscle strain and ligaments sprain is varies depending on severity and
it could take up to 4-6weeks. This time frame affects player’s availability and
could jeopardize team’s standing especially in professional sports.
For example, there are notable professional sports athletes
who received Palatelet-Rich Plasma(PRP) therapy recently, including Tom Brady,
Stephen Curry, and Tiger Woods. Stephen Curry, professional basketball player
sustained grade 1 Medial Collateral Ligament(MCL) sprain during playoff on
April 16, 2017 and diagnosed to be sidelined 2weeks. However, he received
Palatelet-Rich Plasma(PRP) therapy and returned to full play on April 24, 2017.
PRP is the new type of therapy in order to boost the healing
process of musculoskeletal and connective tissue injuries by injecting growth
factor(palatelets) in targeting area. In order to obtain PRP, the blood has to
be collected from the patient and centrifuged. Palatelets were separate from
other cells and concentrated during centrifuge. Then, this concentrated
platelets injected back to patient’s injured area.
I am a Certified Athletic Trainer and practice my licensure
since 2011. I have been working as sports medicine staff at Division 1 University
and professional sports. When I was working at professional soccer team, LA
Galaxy, one of our key players sustained MCL sprain a week before championship
game. If PRP therapy was available at that time, he may have higher chance to
play the championship game and contribute the team to pursue winning
championship. In professional team, it is losing money if high paid player does
not play due to injury and sports fans want see their high caliber performance.
Because of that, athletic trainers and other medical staffs get pressured to
get a player back to the field faster. As