Jose Reyes plays shortstop for the New York Mets. One of the leagues better players, in 2005, 2006 and 2008, he led the Major Leagues in triples and the NL (National League) in stolen bases three consecutive years, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Reyes holds the Met’s all-time record in both categories. Reyes is one of the growing contingents of professional athletes who have undergone PRP therapy in an attempt to help them speed up the recovery process after being injured.
Jose Reyes and PRP Therapy
Reyes underwent PRP therapy after he injured his right leg. A leg injury is always serious for an athlete. The effect Reye’s injury had on his game, in which base stealing is a major component, suffered. The injury also seemed to lead to others. What started out as calf tendonitis turned how to later be diagnosed as a torn hamstring tendon. In an effort to get the injury under control, Reyes and his agent were willing to try therapies considered to be “outside-the-box,” with PRP being the forerunner. After going back and forth with management, the team agreed to let him undergo the procedure.
PRP therapy uses platelets from a person’s own blood to speed up the healing process. A person’ has a small amount of their blood drawn and placed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge helps to separate the platelets from the red and white blood cells and plasma. The platelets are then injected into the patient in the area where they have been injured. The procedure is simple enough and virtually painless.
Unfortunately, the procedure wasn’t as effective for Reyes as it has been for other professional athletes such as Alex Rodriguez and Tiger Woods. According to Reye’s agent Greenberg, “We did do due diligence and checked up on all his references,” he said of Galea (the doctor who performed the procedure). “He came highly recommended from all the different doctors we spoke to and the references we followed up on. Unfortunately, it didn’t work.” Reyes was out for the remainder of the season and eventually underwent surgery to repair his hamstring.
Reyes experience underscores a very important point, PRP therapy isn’t a miracle one. While it has helped elite athletes and weekend warriors alike, speed up the recovery process, the same isn’t necessarily true for everyone who’s tried it. Just as with any type of medical treatment, an individual’s experience will differ based on a variety of things, amongst them the quality of the doctor performing the procedure and how a person’s body takes to it. Some people will have better outcomes then others. This is sometimes unfortunate but untrue.
For those who seek to claim that PRP therapy doesn’t work because it was unsuccessful in helping Reyes heal and return to the baseball diamond, should consider the case of Tiger Woods, who had the procedure and publicly vouched for it. The same is true of Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu, both top performers and Super Bowl champions who play for the Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL). PRP Therapy enabled Hines Ward to come back early from an injury which threatened to keep him out of the Super Bowl.