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The Athlete's Pain

Sports Medicine is exploding and with that comes new opportunities and treatments, unfortunately some of them fad...at least for now. Came across an interesting article (part of a series) in the NY Times that discusses how some treatments are being rendered even without scientific evidence supporting its success - PRP and stem cell injections - as a couple examples. It seems that many patients are asking for these treatments because high profile athletes are touting their success, even though we don't really know whether the treatment works.


Injecting PRP (platelet rich plasma) into areas of injury, including rotator cuff tears and tennis elbow, have been tried, but no data seems to be conclusive regarding the benefit. But testimonials from doctors and their high-profile athletes seems to go a long way, regardless of lack of science, a tried and true way to popularize an unproven treatment. Dr John Bergfeld of the Cleveland Clinic calls this the "Orthopedic Triad: famous athlete, famous doctor, untested treatment."


I have some patients who request a treatment simply because they have heard a high profile athlete has reveived it. I always tell them that just because an athlete says it worked, doesn't mean it really worked. I encourage all patients to review the science with their physican before any treatment. 


To check out the whole article: http://goo.gl/8kzWU


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