Brandon Roy is a professional basketball player for the Portland Trail Blazers. The 2006-2007 Rookie of the Year, Roy is one of the best young players in the National Basketball Association (NBA). After injuring his hamstring in January of 2011, Roy underwent Platelet Rich (PRP) therapy to treat his ailing hamstring.
Brandon Roy and PRP Treatment
January 2011 wasn’t the first time Roy underwent PRP therapy. He also used it after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on both his knees. “I think the biggest difference this time is that they didn’t clean up the meniscus,” Roy said. “They went in there and cleaned some things up, I guess they call it flushing out the joints. After they did that, my biggest thing was they put some of this, what you call, PRP, I don’t know if you guys know much about that. They actually put it in both knees and they just want me to continue to rest even though I do feel good, because they do want to give that medicine a chance to work,” stated Roy.
The doctor who administered Brandon Roy’s PRP therapy was the team doctor for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). A number of NFL athletes have used the procedure to help speed up the recovery process in order to get back on the playing field. Two of the most notable were Troy Polamalu and Hines Ward, both of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both players injured themselves prior to their team playing in the Super Bowl and were not expected to play due to injury. PRP therapy was largely responsible for getting both men back in time. Each of credited it for doing so.
PRP therapy has proven to be effective for other professional athletes as well, including Tiger Woods, Huston Street and Alex Rodriguez. The therapy is surprisingly simple. It harnesses the body’s own ability to heal itself.
A small vial of blood is taken from the injured person. It is placed in a centrifuge and spun until all of its components are separated. The platelets are removed and injected back into the injured person, at the point of injury. Growth factors, found in the platelets, are used by the body to promote the healing and regeneration of bodily tissue. A concentrated amount of platelets are used in PRP therapy, which helps to accelerate the healing process in some individuals.
In Roy’s case, the use of PRP therapy for his hamstring injury made perfect sense. Ligament strains heal on their own, overtime. PRP therapy simply helps speed up the process. It has proven to be very effective for the treatment of soft tissue injuries such as ligament and tendon strains.
Injury and PRP Therapy Timeline for Brandon Roy
- Brandon Roy injures his hamstring on January 13th.
- Roy reinjures it on January 20th
- Brandon undergoes PRP therapy
- Brandon returns to the court on February 17th
- Roy re-aggravates the injury and experiences additional ones, unrelated to the hamstring. There is some talk of retirement.