The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

NBA News: Dwight Howard Latest Athlete To Receive PRP Therapy

Posted by on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

We don’t usually talk about knee injuries. The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in NYC primarily deals with all things foot- and ankle-related. But we’re interested in Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard’s recent knee injury because he’s being treated with platelet-rich plasma injections (or PRP therapy). PRP therapy is a progressive treatment we use in our practice as well. In addition to its effectiveness with knee injuries, we’ve seen great results using PRP therapy for plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and ankle sprains.

Dwight Howard is one of the latest celebrities to get treated with PRP therapy, which we offer at our NYC clinic. Photo credit: Youtube user PFortyy

What Happened To Dwight Howard?

It’s never easy to lose an eight-time All-Star who averages 18.8 points per game and 11.3 rebounds. “Knee sprain” was the early prognosis for Dwight Howard, who still doesn’t know exactly what happened or when it happened. After the November 17th game aginst Memphis, Howard was feeling pretty sore and figured he could “just sleep it off.” He warmed up with his teammates for the November 19th Lakers match, but it was determined he’d sit on the bench. He subsequently missed the November 22nd game against the Mavericks and the November 24th game against the Knicks. Rockets coach Kevin McHale said there was no timetable for Howard’s return.

The pro athlete has expressed frustration about the setback, explaining that he “did everything” to get himself ready to play. One treatment method Howard tried was PRP therapy, which places a patient’s own blood in a centrifuge to separate the platelets, then injects it back into the injured tissue to speed up recovery. “It feels a lot better,” he told reporters. “I had to get a shot in it to clear some of the stuff out of it. I’m trying to do whatever I can to get back on the floor.” PRP therapy is generally recommended as a long-term treatment. While some patients may respond to just one injection, it is more likely the patient will need two to five injections, spaced four to six weeks apart.

What Are The Benefits of PRP Therapy?

The ideal candidate for PRP treatment is someone who has sustained a tendon or ligament injury, or joint degeneration, and who has not responded to traditional treatments like stretching, rest, or strength training over the course of a few months. Platelet-rich plasma makes a great alternative to surgery and may heal tissue quickly, without scarring or further tissue degeneration. In areas like the Achilles tendon — where blood supply is limited — the body receives a significant boost in nutrients, growth factors, and oxygen to help heal the damage done. We like PRP because it is safe and well-tolerated in patients, in addition to being effective.

PRP Therapy in New York

Whether you are a professional athlete or not, we invite you to contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine with any questions you may have about PRP therapy. We are always taking on new patients and sharing access to the latest technology to help with acute or chronic injuries. We also offer our patients comprehensive physical therapy programs aimed at maintaining athletic prowess and getting you back to the game quickly.

If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.