Monday, April 5, 2010

Sci Fi Medicine

Sometime last year John Googled 'Achilles Tendon Injuries' and came across an article on PRP Therapy. The more research he did on it, the more it sounded like it could help my Achilles. If it was good enough for professional athletes like Tiger Woods and Troy Polamalu, then is has to be good enough for the Booers right?

I asked a few of the orthopedists that I saw what they thought of the therapy and they were all neigh sayers. Only one dr. wasn't very skeptical, he didn't know enough about it to know if it would help me ore not.

Since I didn't hear what I wanted, I decided to use Google to find a dr. that did the administered the therapy. In my research I found Othrohealing located in LA. Everything I read on the site sounded awesome, so I made an appointment for the first holiday I had this year, which was Good Friday. (Gotta save that PTO for Paris).

I was pretty worried because I felt that this was my last hope. If the dr. didn't think my case was worthy of the therapy I don't know what my next option would be. Lucky for me, after a general evaluation, and ultra sound, the dr. thought I could benefit from the treatment!! AWESOME!

First step was getting blood withdrawn...6 vials...piece of cake compared to the 12 I had done the week before. Here I am snacking on the granola bar they gave me after the withdrawal:
Next step was to wait 25 mins while the blood was put in the centrafuse.

Next step = prep for injection! First the dr. poked me with a plastic tool to designate the worst areas. He told me that this part is the most painful for some patients. ‘Whatever,’ I thought. How bad can a plastic tool hurt, right? OMG! It totally hurt, and he didn't even draw any blood!

Then it was time for the numbing shot. Let me paint a picture for you. Imagine having a really sore muscle/tendon...now imagine sticking a needle into that EXTREMELY sore muscle/tendon. Sounds a bit painful, right? Let me tell you it hurt SO bad! Luckily I only had to get one numbing shot. They even used some freezing spray (before the injection), which might have caused no pain to the skin, but the tendon pain was so intense that the spray was useless.
Luckily I didn't feel any of the injections, and it really didn't take that long. Look on the left side of the video, and you will see the needle entering the tendon. The dr. targets the black areas, which are the pockets of liquid. The white blood cells are supposed to speed up the healing process.
video
After the injection I got iced by GAME READY.
This thing was AWESOME! The brace filled up with ice-cold water and it had a timer, so after 10 minutes I was done! I can't imagine all the other cool equipment that professional athletes have access too.

I was pleasantly surprised that my foot didn't hurt afterwards. The dr. said that some patients need crutches or get a prescription for vicodin. Seriously? My foot didn't hurt at all.

FLASH FORWARD to 4 hours later and I am in A LOT of pain. The numbing juice wore off and I could barely walk. The drive home was extremely difficult because I could not find a comfortable position for my food, and the ride was also really bumpy. I just knew once I got home, and out of the car, that my foot would feel better. I was wrong. I was still in a huge amount of pain. Luckily I had some left over vicodin from my surgery and was able to take one. I don't think I would have been able to sleep through the night if I didn't have those meds. (The dr. gave me 500 mg of Tylenol but that didn't do a thing for me.)

The next day it was a little better, but still really sensitive. The dr. also said to treat my foot like it is a new injury. Take it really easy for the first 5 days and then start up physical therapy again. I head back down in a month for another injection, and then possibly one more. I might see an improvement after 14 days, or I might see an improvement after the second injection.

Overall I am SO thankful I got the PRP treatment. Other wise I would have always had the 'what if' hanging over my head. Dr. Sampson and his team were AWESOME. I can't believe how lucky I was to find such a great practice from Google. So keep your fingers crossed for me that this will do the trick and I will be able to run and jump in a few months.

5 comments:

:: CCB's Knit-Knacks :: said...

Amber, what dos PRP mean? It sounds interesting, I hope it works for you! Cindy :)

Sarah said...

You had to try it. Nothing else is working. Hopefully this will do the trick. A girl needs to be able to do cartwheels if she wants.

P.S. Did you notice that you spelled "foot" as "food" up there? I think your subconscious prefers to have at least one food reference in every post.

Saraholic said...

I hope your heel gets healed ;) Wow.. you are being treated like a famous athlete. That's awesome! :)

Jaymiebeth said...

Ouch. Hope you are feeling better soon. At least you got to see all those cool gadgets ... and got a granola bar. Totally worth it. ;)

Syddison said...

I REALLY REALLY hope this works for you. It sounds very interesting. Good for you and John for being proactive in your treatment and seeking a procedure that could finally heal your heel pain! Good Luck!