When Chicago Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich recently injured his thumb, Chicago Bulls head team physician Dr. Brian Cole was ready to respond with an innovative new treatment.
The Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush sports medicine physician has recently been utilzing Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) to treat muscle and ligament injuries in top tier athletes. In this procedure, platelets from the patient's own blood are separated from red blood cells using a centrifuge. The concentrated, platelet rich blood is then injected back into the patient's body at the site of an injury. Platelets are a natural source of growth factors, which helps catalyze growth of new soft-tissue or bone cells.
"Platelets act as a storehouse for healing," says Dr. Cole. "By injecting a super concentrated dose of the patient's platelets into the location of the injury, we can reduce pain more quickly and initiate a healing response quicker than the body would on its own."
The procedure has virtually no side effects, and early results are encouraging (so much so that Dr. Cole and Rush are expanding their research into the treatment). To hear Dr. Cole's interview on the Hinrich injury and PRP therapy, click on the link below.