New Orleans Saints’ leading running back Chris Ivory, received a Platelet-Rich Plasma injection for a tightened hamstring Wednesday. Ivory is a rookie leading the Saints in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns this season. In a late first quarter dash in last Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Rams, Ivory’s hamstring tightened up.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) is the removal of a small amount of blood from a patient with a soft tissue injury (tendon, ligament, muscle, etc.). Blood contains healing components called platelets that release growth factor used by the body to grow and create cells. These platelets are not normally used by the body in large enough concentrations in various injuries. Patients’ blood is thus spun in a centrifuge, which extracts and concentrates these natural healing platelets. The concentrated platelets are then directly injected into an injury, catalyzing the body’s natural healing abilities.
Ivory did not practice Thursday and whether he plays Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens is questionable. “I think I’ll be fine,” Ivory said. “I think I’ll end up playing on Sunday. But I’m not sure. It just depends on how I feel coming into tomorrow or Saturday.”
While there is no definitive clinical evidence to suggest PRP heals this type of muscle injury, numerous NCAA and NFL football players with hindering muscle strains have returned to the game quickly following PRP. The Saints hope Ivory’s return is equally speedy as Sunday’s game against the Ravens has playoff implications.