Friday, August 7, 2009

Hamstring Prognosis

I saw the sports doc this morning. After a few questions and some examination, he agreed that a Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment would be his first choice, if I can afford the treatment and I'm willing to try a fairly new treatment protocol.

He said that if I was a casual runner - a few 3 milers per week, or a hiker or simply a non-competitive athlete of any sort, he'd recommend some rest or reduced activity for a few months to see what would happen. But, I want to return to a high level of activity and I want to do that quickly, so he thinks PRP is my best bet.

I have to pay for the treatment out of pocket, but not all of the preliminaries before the treatment. The treatment costs just under $1,000, and it seems reasonable to me that I should pay for it. First of all, I hurt myself doing something stupid. It's still experimental. And, I don't need the treatment to function at a reasonable level. But, many would say that I'm not reasonable in the way I play, and they're probably right. I'll gladly pay out of pocket for the treatment.

So, today, I had an X-ray. They want to make sure that no bone was pulled away at the hamstring attachment point.

Next, they want to do an MRI to find the exact location of the suspected tendon tear, so they'll be able to guide the PRP injection directly to the injury site. I had to fill out the pre-authorization paperwork for the MRI today and the MRI will probably happen next week sometime.

And then, assuming everything is still a go, the PRP is scheduled for 8/31. I have been told that I must pre-pay on the day of the procedure itself. They don't want to chase me down if I don't pay the bill. They don't want to submit it to insurance. Payment in full at the time of service. They also told me to be well-hydrated on 8/31, because they need to take about a cup of blood to spin down to the PRP that they'll inject.

After the treatment, I should expect 3-4 days of discomfort and then about 2 weeks of limited activity, after which I can start pushing things again.

The doctor also told me that since running seems to be causing me the most discomfort, perhaps I should spend more time with other activities, such as bike riding, until after the treatment. That seems reasonable, except my unreasonable brain wants to run. I think I'll plan on a long ride tomorrow and go from there.

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