It was reported this week in The Morning Call, that Philadelphia Phillies’ Chase Utley, has patellar tendinitis and chondromalacia (weakened or missing cartilage under the knee cap). Utley may be facing surgery and a four to five month recovery period.
“Chase has had mild patellar tendinitis and chondromalacia in the past that have previously resolved quickly,” team physician Dr. Michael Ciccotti said. “His symptoms returned during his offseason workouts. When he reported to spring training this year, his knee was treated as it had been in the past; however, his symptoms continued.”
Utley, who underwent hip surgery during 2008 and again last season for a torn ligament in his thumb, may be soon facing the knife surgery and a painstaking recovery process. However, since Utley’s knee has failed to respond to conventional treatment methods and the regular season begins April 1, it may be a perfect time to entertain platelet rich plasma therapy (PRP) as option. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) , sometimes called “blood-spinning,” has been used to treat the knee injuries of Pittsburgh Steelers’ Hines Ward and Troy Palamalu, NBA Superstar Blake Griffin, and Tiger Woods.
“It’s (PRP) a great way to reduce inflammation and to help things that are slow to heal,” Said Dr. Jonathan Glashow, orthopaedic surgeon at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, to The Morning Call. “And cartilage and tendons are often slow to heal. There’s not a great blood supply to those structures and we need good blood supply to help the healing process,” he added.
PRP is a fairly new therapy in sports medicine and orthopaedics and still considered experimental. While outcomes of PRP clinical studies vary, most conclude it is very safe and has the potential as an effective, non-surgical treatment for soft-tissue injuries. For Utley who has failed conventional treatments and can’t afford to miss another season, hope could be spelled “PRP.”