by Cathy Cantway , Tough Girl Cycling
As a competitive cyclist and recreational sports enthusiast I am unfortunately quite used to being injured. I have had knee surgery for a torn meniscus, shoulder surgery for a torn labrum, and plenty of scrapes and bruises and soft tissue injuries. But loving an active lifestyle, and especially cycling, I have never let an injury keep me down for longer than necessary; two years after my shoulder surgery I upgraded to pro in mountain cross!
This past February however, I started experiencing pain in my left heel. If for some reason I stretched my ankle too far it felt like something was actually tearing off my heal. After an x-ray to rule out any bone problems, my doctors and I determined that I had Achilles tendonitis. This is not an unusual diagnosis for active individuals as tendon disorders account for 30-50% of sports related injuries1. The problem with this seemingly simple diagnosis is that traditional therapy does not quickly or easily resolve the problem. For months I tried taking anti-inflammatories, resting my ankle, and even got fitted for a walking boot to limit mobility of my ankle because nothing seemed to be resolving the tendonitis.
Finally in April, after cutting out almost all of my activities to avoid further injury to my tendon, but realizing that I had a mountain bike season quickly approaching, I called my orthopedic surgeon, Andreas Sauerbrey, in Steamboat Springs and explained my situation.
“You need PRP,” is what he told me.
“What is PRP?”