Troy Polamalu is one of the NFL’s best safeties. He is known for his excellent play, hard hitting and toughness. However, like many NFL players, he has experienced his share of injuries. Football is a tough sport, full of violent collisions and requiring full exertion at all times. Polamalu has thus found himself injured, sometimes seriously, on more than one occasion. In an attempt to return to the field and help his beloved Steeler’s during their 2008-2009 Playoff run, Polamalu underwent Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP), an unconventional form of treatment, after suffering a knee injury.
Troy Polamalu & PRP Therapy
Polamalu underwent PRP Therapy in 2009 after he suffered a MCL injury in a game against the Tennessee Titans. Under the threat of missing playoff games and the opportunity to play in the Super Bowl (if the team made it that far), Polamalu gave PRP Therapy a shot and it paid off big for him. He was able to return to the field sooner than his injury would have normally allowed and helped his team win the biggest game of the year. His teammate and one-time Super Bowl MVP, Hines Ward, is also a PRP Therapy success story. Hines decided to give the therapy a try after also hurting his MCL tendon. The procedure was a success. Rather being out for six weeks, like most medical experts predicted Hines would be, he was back in two. Hines credited his speedy return to PRP, as does Troy Polamalu.
Though other therapies and treatments could have been used on Polamalu (there were tons available to him), he and the team doctors were sold on the merits of PRP. The procedure had been used by other prominent athletes to accelerate the healing process which certainly played a role Polamalu’s decision to give it a try. It was the team’s best option if they were to get Polamalu back in time for the Super Bowl. It was a bit of a gamble but it paid off pretty handsomely.
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy is an innovative treatment which utilizes a patient’s own blood to help speed up the recovery process. It is a non-surgical solution that has proven, in many cases, to be quite effective in the treatment of tendons, muscle and ligaments. It is not yet considered mainstream. However, there is a growing body of evidence that support it merits and effectiveness. Many popular athletes endorse it, one of the most famous being Tiger Woods.
Obtaing the final product of prp is not complicated. A small amount of blood is taken from the patient. It is placed in a vial and then a centrifuge machine, where the blood’s platelets are separated and removed. They are then injected into the injured body part, in concentrated form (3 to 10 times the normal amount). Platelets release growth factors which help to accelerate the healing process, giving the body the “tools” it needs to significantly speed up the healing process.