“Road To Recovery” Sports InjuriesSports 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.
According to 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. Athletic trainers and other medical staffs get pressured to get a player back to the field faster. 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.