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Why More NBA Players are Opting for Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy

Posted by Douglas W. Stoddard MD, M Sp Med, Dip Sport Med, ES on 10 December 2017
Why More NBA Players are Opting for Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy

No NBA player is built like LeBron James.

In the midst of his 15th NBA season, the King, going on 33 years of age, has shown no signs of abdicating his throne.

The greatness on the court is evident to anybody with eyes, but it's the longevity and durability throughout his career that's unprecedented - even Michael 'His Airness' Jordan can't make such a claim (we remember those years in Washington).

The Cleveland icon has played 75 games or more every season of his career, besides two (62 and 69 games played), averaging an impossible 38.9 minutes per game over 15 seasons (7th overall all-time).

But again, no player is like LeBron. For the rest of the NBA mortals, they're vulnerable to knee injuries, ankle sprains, shoulder tears, and the regular wear-and-tear from banging in the post.

To get on the fastbreak to recovery, more and more NBA players are opting for platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy to expedite the healing time of various injuries, particularly knee pain.

PRP > Surgery

Surgeries are an absolute last resort for everybody, athletes included.

Look at the effect of L.A. Clippers shooting guard Patrick Beverley's season-ending shoulder surgery this season. After the All-Defensive guard went down, the Clippers collapsed and find themselves in fire sale mode - their competitive season is done just 21 games in.

In other words, surgery isn't an option for highly-paid NBA players.

Certain injuries that require surgery can be avoided with plasma injections. This is especially true with knee injuries; surgery on the knee is particularly restrictive in its ability to provide long-term relief from knee pain, or preventing further injury.

PRP has assisted players returning to the court faster and healthier than ever. It's helped players avoid the lengthy shelf-time that comes with painful knee surgery. Players like Brandon Roy (2007 Rookie of the Year), Metta World Peace (2004 Defensive Player of the Year), and future Hall of Famer and Lakers legend, Kobe Bryant, employed PRP to extend their careers.

Why PRP is Effective for Basketball Players

Basketball is filled with sharp cuts, lofty heights, monster dunks, and confidence-crippling blocks. Add the fact that it involves players averaging 6'7" and nearly 200lbs, and that's a lot of pressure on the knees and ankles.

As players' careers progress, the cartilage and ligaments in their knees wear down, becoming susceptible to knee pain and injury.

As we mentioned with Roy, World Peace, and Kobe, players are using PRP to keep their knees, joints, and cartilage healthy, preventing surgery for as long as possible. And while some players must opt for knee surgery eventually, PRP has been a part of that recovery process, too.

Today, former All-Stars Dwayne Wade, Pau Gasol, and Dwight Howard are still playing well into their 30's, thanks to the PRP knee treatments they've received over the years.

A PRP Recipe fit for a Chef

Plasma therapy injections aren't just for aging NBAers trying to keep a job in the Association.

You may recall two-time NBA MVP Stephen 'Chef' Curry going down to an MCL sprain in a first round matchup against the Houston Rockets three seasons ago. Expected to be out for an extended period of time, that just wasn't fathomable for Chef and the transcendent 73-9 Golden State Warriors.

Resorting to PRP injections, even getting back on the court just a few days earlier can make all the difference in the world, especially in the crunch time of the postseason.

Curry was back on the court within two weeks, at the most pivotal time of the season, almost leading the 'Dubs to a second consecutive championship - if not for the superhuman performance from none other than the King.

But again, no player in the NBA is built like LeBron James. 


While the hopes of an entire city may not rest on your injured knee, it's still important to get back on the court and play the sport you love.

RegenerVate specializes in PRP therapy and injections for athletes, as well as other regenerative medicines and injection therapies for chronic pain, arthritis, and more.

Contact us today to learn more!

Author: Douglas W. Stoddard MD, M Sp Med, Dip Sport Med, ES
About: Dr. Stoddard is a sport medicine and injection physician in Toronto and is the Medical Director of RegenerVate. After receiving his medical degree from the University of Toronto, he trained in Australia at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, obtaining his Master Degree in Sport Medicine. His injection training, including ultrasound, PRP and Prolotherapy, was primarily done in the USA. He is a diplomat of the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASEM), is married and a proud father of two boys. He is an avid triathlete and occasional guitar player.
Tags: Treatment Options PRP Injections

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