Truckee climber benefits from platelet rich plasma treatments
TRUCKEE and#8212; After two years of wrist pain and a forced hyatis from his favorite outdoor pursuit, 29-year-old Truckee rock climber Max Rodatz was getting cranky.
In a search of relief, Rodatz made the medical rounds, visiting more than a dozen doctors ranging from orthopedic specialists to a hand surgeon. “The pain was keeping me up at night,” Rodatz recalled, noting that doctors originally thought it was a result of a scaphoid bone injury, which is common with skateboarders.
However, after “a million X-rays” Rodatz’s doctors concluded that the bone was not injured. Later an MRI scan revealed the source of the pain: an injured ligament. A hand specialist suggested surgery, but the youthful Rotatz opted out. When Rodatz was at wits end, fellow climbing buddy Dr. Dennis Chez, of Gateway Urgent Care, suggested an alternative: Platelet Rich Plasma treatment, a procedure that consists of drawing a patient’s blood, concentrating the growth factors and platelets and then injecting into the injury site.
“The MRI scan showed exactly where the injured ligament was, and in turn I was able to inject the medicine in the precise location,” explained Chez, adding the hand/wrist joint is more complex than other joints, such as the knee.
Rodatz said Chez told him that he could offer a “no-risk chance to change things.” The entire procedure took approximately 40 minutes.
“After the injections I felt discomfort for a week,” Rodatz recalled. “Four weeks after the procedure my hand felt close to 100 percent and the healing continues.”
After two years of pain, Rodatz, a manager at the Sports Exchange in Truckee, has returned to climbing.
“I’m taking it really easy,” Rodatz said. “But still, I’m doing stuff that I haven’t been doing in years and I love that fact that there was not surgery, no scars, no cuts.”
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment has been used in musculoskeletal medicine as early as the 1990s, and since the 1980s in surgical and dental procedures. The treatment helps regenerate tendon and ligament fibers and because it is comprised of one’s own blood there is no chance of rejection from the body. Basically, it accelerates the body’s natural healing process. Not surprisingly, PRP is popular with professional athletes who desire a speedy healing process.
According to Chez the treatment is virtually painless and risk-free. “There’s absolutely no downside because you are never allergic to your own blood,” he noted.
To obtain more information about PRP or to schedule an appointment, call Dr. Chez at 582-2070.
Dr. Chez has practiced emergency medicine in the North Lake Tahoe area for over thirty years. He is the founder and Medical Director of Gateway Urgent Care in Truckee, which he opened in 1995. Gateway Urgent Care is located at 11105 Donner Pass Road in Truckee.
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