Platelet-Rich Plasma Aids World Record-Setting Accomplishment

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Platelet-Rich Plasma Aids World Record-Setting Accomplishment

Huntsville, AL (PRWEB) October 20, 2010

At 68 years old, Pastor Bob Kurtz of Cullman, Alabama, beat his own world record by playing 500 consecutive holes of golf. This accomplishment was aided by a new tendonitis treatment called Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP). A group from Pastor Bob’s congregation at St. John’s Protestant Evangelical Church devised the concept of a golf marathon to raise money for orphaned children. As an avid and highly skilled golfer, Pastor Bob was asked to be the “iron man” of the marathon.

A standard golf marathon consists of 100 holes, but Pastor Bob’s love for golf and his philanthropic energy wouldn’t settle for the status quo. He completed three marathons of 168 holes and 220 holes, and, in 2008, broke the 401 hole Guinness Book World Record by playing 405 consecutive holes of golf.

“Then I thought I could do 500,” says Pastor Bob. “I had a year to get ready and I was ready except for one problem, and that was a torn tendon in my right elbow. That was a major concern.” Pastor Bob had been hitting hundreds of golf balls per day to prepare for the ultimate marathon and acquired what is known as the golfer’s elbow: a soft-tissue tendon tear on the inside of his right elbow. “It (his elbow) was very very painful,” said Pastor Bob.

With the 500 hole marathon approaching, and an increasingly painful tendon tear, surgery requiring excessive recovery time and strength loss wasn’t an option. Pastor Bob needed a medical treatment that could expedite the healing process and discovered Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy.

“PRP has become one of the most discussed treatments in orthopaedics because it represents the potential for unprecedented healing of conditions which previously had limited treatment choices,” says orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine expert, Dr. Michael Cantrell. Dr. Cantrell performs PRP at The Orthopaedic Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Dr. Cantrell continues, “It also potentially speeds healing and recovery for athletes and other individuals who need to return to prior sports and activities as quickly as possible.” PRP requires about an hour and involves removing a small amount of a patient’s blood and then rapidly spinning it in a centrifuge or filtration system to concentrate healing components known as platelets. Platelets contain growth factors, used by the body to create and re-grow cells. The platelets are separated from red blood and white blood cells, concentrated into higher doses and re-injected directly into the injured area, where blood would rarely go otherwise.

“These (blood platelets) are your body’s own ultimate vitamins,” says Dr. John Greco, head team physician for Alabama A&M University and orthopaedic surgeon, who also treats certain patients with PRP at The Orthopaedic Center. Dr. Greco continues, “if you believe in a holistic manner of treatment then this is a natural way to help the body jump start the healing process.”

While a multitude of clinical studies are underway, the research to this point has concluded PRP can be beneficial in soft-tissue injuries (tendon, ligament, joint, muscle and cartilage) and warrants further research. PRP has been used for bone growth in the dental community for over 20 years and now may aid sports injuries and tendonitis.

“PRP is considered safe and “natural” because all material is autologous. This means it’s the patient’s own blood,” says Dr. Cantrell. “Thus, there is nothing artificial, and no risk of disease transmission from any donor material.”

Many professional athletes have turned to PRP to speed up their recoveries. After a spraining his knee in the 2009 Playoffs, Hines Ward returned for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Super Bowl victory after receiving PRP. Other athletes treated with PRP include Ward’s teammate Troy Palamalu, World number one ranked tennis star, Rafeal Nadal, and world number one ranked golfer, Tiger Woods.

“It wasn’t difficult at all,” says Pastor Bob. “It turned out to reduce a lot of the pain and gave me my confidence back. In all honesty, I never thought about it (the injury) the two days of the marathon.” Following PRP, Pastor Bob completed the 500 hole marathon in June, raising over ,000 for children’s charities. The energetic and ambitious Pastor Bob was very thankful for the option of receiving PRP. “This injection helped me out enormously. It exceeded my hopes.” Pastor Bob chuckles, “We finished with the 500th hole and the last thing I thought about was an aching elbow. There were a lot of other things that ached, but not the elbow.”

The Orthopaedic Center (TOC) in Huntsville, Alabama provides the ultimate orthopaedic care. For more information on PRP, please visit The Orthopaedic Center’s PRP website: or call TOC directly at (256) 539-2728.


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