Cliff Lee is a professional baseball player. Currently the starting picture for the Philadelphia Phillies, he has played for other teams, amongst them, the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers and the Cleveland Indians. Lee has a number of trademark pitches, they include, his knuckle curve, two-seam fastball, circle changeup and cut fastball. One of the best pitchers in the league, in 2008 he was awarded the American League Cy Young Award. Cliff Lee is part of the growing number of professional athletes to have undergone PRP therapy after finding themselves injured and desperate to return to their particular sport.
Cliff Lee and PRP Therapy
Lee underwent PRP therapy in 2008, while with the Seattle Mariners, after he injured his abdomen while warming up in the bullpen. Willing to give the semi-experimental or experimental (depending on who one talks to) procedure a try, he had platelets injected into his injured abdominal area.
PRP therapy is the same treatment that other elite athletes have undergone, some with exceptional results, and others with substandard ones. In the case of Cliff Lee, after having PRP done, he was placed on his team’s 15 day Disabled list and then returned in time to play in the World Series. This was Lee’s third abdominal injury.
The other two forced him out of play for a period of six weeks, each time.
After Lee’s use of PRP therapy, the amount of time it took his abdomen to heal was noticeably shorter. Even still, Lee wasn’t ready to give all of the credit to the therapy only because in his mind he is not able to know exactly why this time, his recovery was shorter then the prior two times. “…Lee can’t say whether the curious treatment he tried — injecting a therapeutic component of his own blood into the sore spot — accelerated his recovery.” “It seemed like it should help, but who really knows?” says Lee.
In the medical community PRP therapy has been a bit divisive. There are some medical professionals who believe in its ability to help speed up healing. Others aren’t so sure and want more research to be done before they are willing to give it their vote of confidence. Those who believe in the merits of PRP therapy believe that the platelets which are isolated from the patients blood and then injected back into the injured part of the body, has the ability to spur and quicken the repair of tissue, bone and muscle due to the growth factors they contain.
For professional athletes, a speedy recovery can mean a great deal. It can help them win or keep a spot on their respective teams, allow them to perform at their usual high level or secure a lucrative contract. It is thus very important. Procedures such as PRP Therapy have helped some athletes get back to their former selves and injury-free much faster than they would have otherwise been able to.
It is important to note that while PRP treatment has been very effective in helping some athletes its results haven’t been as impressive for others. Some athletes have experienced little-to-no improvement after having gone the procedure. But this is to be expected. Almost no treatment has a 100% success rate, even those that are commonly used.