21 February 2013

Not Pimp Rock Palace (photo warning for the squeamish)

Yesterday I experienced PRP for the first time.

And that doesn't stand for Pimp Rock Palace.

In this case, PRP stands for Platelet-Rich Plasma. My own platelet-rich plasma was injected into my hip joint as part of a treatment series attempting to regenerate cartilage in there. You can read about it here.

In case you're new here, I was recently diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis and told that my hip joint has degenerated to being a bone-on-bone situation.

I'm following the ranks of A-Rod, Tiger Woods, and Kobe Bryant...as one reader said, "Without the hookers." (Cant' remember who gave me that gem...speak up because I love it and want to thank you). These pro athletes (and others) have had success with this form of treatment.

The top yellowish part is the plasma. The next whitish layer contains the platelets.
These two layers are what he injected into my hip joint.

I went to see the cute doctor. I filled out a bunch of paperwork and then went into the inner sanctum. After chatting a bit about my hip's history and filling my husband in on what was about to happen and how it worked, we got down to the real business. After drawing my blood, he numbed my hip with two injections of something. This was the most painful part of the procedure, and it was more a stinging pressure than pain. The first one was more superficial while the second went deep.

This is the third time I've used "singing" as a coping mechanism when undergoing an 'uncomfortable' medical event. I've found this way of distracting myself to be extremely effective and recommend it highly. I began during the first numbing injection with a sort of humming with my mouth open and so was kind of loud. It changed in volume and pitch as the injection proceeded. Then with the second one, I sang an actual song.

I'm singing....
I'm in a doctor's office and I'm singing....
I'm in a doctor's office and I'm SINNNGINNNNGGGG!!!!

The doctor started laughing and joined in.

And you're my dad... and guess what?
I love you!
I LOVE you!

I am completely and entirely serious. I now know with absolute certainty that I picked the right doctor for ME. Unfortunately, my husband had not yet begun filming when the musical portion of the procedure happened :(  The film he did take isn't all that interesting...just me getting a shot with the needle shown below...

Yes, that's my hip.
And now you've seen my underwear.

Another angle that makes the needle look even longer.
Now just imagine that above vial of PRP hooked onto the needle 
and being injected into my hip.

It didn't hurt really. A huge pressure sensation more than anything. It made my hip feel "juicy" inside. It made things feel different right away...but of course, my hip was numbed so there was that :P The doctor and my husband stood on either side of me as I tried to take my first step. Thank GOD because it felt like there was a huge THING missing...oh, yeah...that would be my numb hip! And I almost went down. But within moments, I was able to sort of shuffle with help.

It got sore about 30 minutes later, just an achy, beat-up feeling. This lasted for several hours. I was able to walk around the house slowly and go up and down stairs holding onto the railing. I'm probably more mobile than I think, but I am being paranoid and allowing the treatment to "settle in" and do it's thing. Sleeping was no problem.

This morning I feel fine. It's a little sore but not bad at all. I admit that I am afraid to even slightly test it. I'm going to spend the day alternating between shuffling and lying around. I go back in a month to do it again. The doctor feels we're looking at 5-6 treatments...maybe more, but he is optimistic that this will help a lot. I'm in Running Moratorium for at least that long, and no elliptical for 2-3 treatments. I can bike, row on the rowing machine, yoga, do some easy weights, perform rehabby exercises, and walk around. We don't want to disturb any possible cartilage regeneration process!

I'll be taking a fistful of joint supplements...MSM, glucosamine, and chondroitin. Additionally, I'll continue my anti-inflammatory way of eating and doing my meditative work. It's time to make the healing, restorative work a major priority.

If you have any questions about this, feel free to ask! I am completely fascinated by this process.


  1. Ooh, I wonder of this would work for my husband's knees. He's been crippling around on bone grinding on bone for years and is finally really and truly laid up right now.

    Good luck! I love that you sang like Buddy. I do that All. The. Time. But my doctor just gets annoyed. He's an old sourpuss.

  2. I've been reading about the case of Brandon Roy of the Blazers - he's had 6 knee surgeries and has no cartilage left in his knees. I think he is still trying to make a comeback to the NBA. Hopefully the platelet rich plasma helps with your hip. I know Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitski has used it, and seems like it.

    I may have a bone on bone condition in my left knee, I need to hear back from my doctor about an update. I may get an MRI in a couple months to confirm it and see if anything can be done.

    An exercept from the article I was reading:
    "Some people are injecting (PRP) into the knee joint in patients that have early osteoarthritis, and they can feel better," Nelson said. "It does not grow new cartilage. It does not reverse the course of cartilage damage. It just helps with the pain associated with arthritis."


    1. There have been comparative MRI's taken of people before and after PRP and seeing cartilage after where they didn't before. Maybe they are doctoring the images or using the images of different people. The human body is capable of amazing things that are not understood by the medical world. I'm going with "miracles happen." I have had first hand experience with this in areas other than my hip :)

  3. I might be wrong, but wasn't a similar therapy used on Peyton Manning's neck injury? Hope all this works out for you !!!

  4. Wow, sounds promising:) I hope it works, and I'm sure it will. Sounds like you are in good company. Plus, I love that the doc joined in on the singing. He's a keeper!

  5. First, you gave me such a great belly laugh at the mental image of the singing. Freaking awesome, I needed that laugh. Second, I am so glad you are sharing this whole process. I've already been warned there may come a day when an old, never-treated back injury could flare up, so seeing your treatment gives me hope that if/when that day comes, there will still be hope.
    Here's hoping for the best for you and your hip (and please, please get video of the singing!)
    PS- I do deep breathing that often turns to an angry growl when I get shots. Or the F-word.

    1. The f-word is surprisingly gratifying in those injection moments :)

  6. Replies
    1. A lot less than a hip replacement! If you want particulars for MY situation, email me at xlmic(dot)tio(at)gmail(dot)com or follow me on Twitter and DM me. What it is costing me won't necessarily be relevant to another person's situation.

  7. This is fascinating,I'm always keen on photos of medial procedures! Crossing all my fingers for you! Get that bike out the shed :)

  8. Can't wait to hear more and hope this has a lot of benefit for you!

  9. Very interesting. I really hope this helps you. I'm following this with great interest. Thanks for sharing. Have a super weekend!

  10. I love the singing idea--next time I have to have a painful procedure (which I hope is far away indeed) I will try that.

    I have a friend who just asked about this treatment. I'm forwarding him the link to your blog.

    Fingers crossed in hope for you!

  11. Yikes on all the needles, but agreed that the singing made me smile. Love Elf. Love that your doctor is cute and sang along. Definitely the right guy.

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  13. Holy crap, I have been off from reading blogs for the last couple of weeks so I had no idea about this. Do the doctors think that running is an option after you are healed up? I totally understand you not wanting to test it, I would be the same way...I would be afraid any movement I was doing would be counteractive.

    My neice that is in the Army has been having a lot of problems with her hips...and it scares me since she is so young, that she is looking at a lifetime of problems with it.

  14. Hey! If you need to get a couple of hookers...let me know...I'll do the research for you. But, until then, get better my friend. I'm doing OK myself.

  15. omg. squeemish and read anyway. seriously freaked out about my MRI tomorrow and the needle for the dye. even though i just had the dumb needle a few weeks ago. I HATE THEM. i lol'd at your singing. i can hear it now. HA! i truly hope this works for you. i'm honestly not sure i could do this, even if it was an option for me.

  16. I am really scared of needles. You are brave! :)

  17. A bit concerned... hope you are doing ok. Miss your posts.... (totally squeamish by the way!!)

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