Friday, December 12, 2014

Ultrarunning and High Hamstring Tendinopathy - Part V - PRP Baby!

After finally exhausting all other options, today I finally went ahead and got a bilateral plasma rich platelet (prp) injection at the ischial bursitis insertional point of the proximal hamstring tendinopathy.  Say that five times fast.  It took me four months to memorize that diagnosis.

A little update on my progress since my last blog.  I have returned to running two to three times a week.  The really good news is that my gait and stride have returned to normal after nearly five months of relative rest (I still played tennis and had one or two runs per week of 3 or 4 miles and they were very slow).  The fact that my gait has returned to normal and my right foot has stopped flaying out I take to be a good sign that the rest is helping albeit very slowly.

In the past two weeks leading up to the injection today things really improved.  I had two runs of about five miles each where I felt only a little discomfort and during the first run I through in a seven minute mile and then during the second run a couple of days later, I was able to somewhat comfortably run a 6:35 mile.  That is the first time that I have been able to do that in 8 months!

Then yesterday I went for a six mile run hoping to maybe even throw in a 5k speed work.  If I could successfully do that, then I was going to forego the PRP.  But as it would turn out, I really struggled.  It was humid that day and humidity definitely seems to make my condition worse.  The good thing about that run was it sealed the deal for me as I knew I needed the PRP because quite frankly I could tell that this was nothing near normal in spite of a few good miles.

As for the injection.  I had read a few blogs and reports that the injections were painful.  Not so, it was surprisingly easy with just a few needle injections.  Actually four for me.  Two to get blood out, and two to put blood in.  Dr. Stanley did mention that the needle is not long enough because the company doesn't make a 2 1/2 inch needle and that makes it more difficult to get to the place that the prp needs to go.  I asked what effect that might have and now that I think about it, didn't really get an answer.  As I understand it, the prp will still be where it needs to be in the tendon and the ischial tuberosity or at least that's what I hope.

One caveat for other sufferers who are going to get PRP, a few hours after the injection, you will become very sore.  I have trouble just bending over and picking things up because I am so sore.  This is suppose to only last for a couple of days.

So now the wait begins.  Dr. Stanley ordered four weeks of no running and I will certainly oblige because prp ain't cheap and I do not want to do it again.  After that, I am hoping to start trying it out and hopefully it will be even more improved than it was right before the injection.

At times I have hope that I will be 100% again and can be a competitive marathon and ultra runner again.  But sometimes I feel that the reality might be that I am limited to slow running and hiking in which case, 50 miles would probably be the furthest distance I would be capable of.  Only time will tell. I will certainly continue to up date my blog.  I will let you know how the first run post prp goes one month from now.

But with my gait and stride returning to normal and continued and steady improvement, I may yet be running as I used to.

As always, if you are a fellow runner and sufferer of HHT, share your experiences.  Together we may be able to beat this thing.

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