John P. Herzog, D.O. Orthopedic Specialists, LLC 98 Clearwater Drive Falmouth, ME 04105 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Falmouth, Maine – May 21, 2009) – When Pittsburgh Steeler's wide receiver Hines Ward caught a 38-yard pass and contributed significantly to his team’s 27-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLII on February 1st, he also brought news of an effective new nonoperative healing procedure to the public at large. Only a couple of weeks after he reportedly sprained his medial collateral ligament in what appeared to be a season-ending encounter with the Ravens, Ward took to the Super Bowl field after receiving Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment. In the months since Ward’s quick recovery, others have been reported to undergone PRP treatment and that’s no surprise, according to Dr. John P. Herzog of Orthopedic Specialists in Falmouth. Herzog, who became certified as Maine’s first physician to perform PRP in December 2008, has long had an interest in shortening and simplifying the process of healing injuries associated with work and sports. The orthopedic surgeon, who is a veteran of over 10,000 surgical procedures, saw that using the body’s own healing qualities could be a desirable option. “PRP therapy is a simple procedure that uses our body’s healing properties to promote more effective recovery from many injuries,” says Herzog. “We draw a small amount of blood from the patient and separate the plasma containing blood platelets and white cells; which is then injected back into the area of the injury, where the healing factors go to work.”
According to other reports, Steeler Hines Ward isn’t the only professional or college athlete to undergo PRP. Yankees outfielder Xavier Nady has attempted the cutting-edge procedure that could help him return to the team far earlier than expected. Nady told the Lower Hudson Valley Journal News earlier this month that he was having plateletrich plasma injected directly into the area around the partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The procedure was successfully used by right-handed reliever Takashi Saito last season. Saito, who is now with the Red Sox, was able to avoid surgery. Like Nady, he had a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament. Dr. Herzog notes that PRP tends to be especially effective on common injuries involving partially torn tendons and ligaments. “We’re finding that many common ‘slip-and-fall’ conditions and others like ‘tennis elbow’ and ‘golfer’s elbow’ respond very well to PRP treatment in many instances,” he says.
The natural healing properties of PRP therapy match closely to Dr. Herzog’s own thoughts about practicing medicine. The veteran surgeon, who also serves as a professor and University of New England’s College of Medicine, was trained in the Osteopathic tradition that the human body tends to heal itself. “We’re doing our job when we’re helping the body do its work,” he says. What lies ahead in the future of PRP? We may be seeing more and more acceptance of the procedure, as Platelet Rich Plasma was discussed at the NFL’s Sports Medicine meeting on May 8th and at a recent meeting of the American Academy of Sports Medicine. And there’s more, according to Dr. Herzog. “PRP has positive potential for many different conditions involving the shoulders, elbows, knees and feet,” says Herzog. “Using the body’s own healing properties to help correct a problem has the potential to prevent lost time a work, to relieve the pain of surgery and the expense of more extensive procedures. In the end,” he says, “everybody wins.” -
For more information contact John P. Herzog, D.O. at (207) 781-9077.