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Denver needs Martin back, so no surgery

Mar 8, 2010, 8:25 PM EDT

martin.jpgThe Nuggets have searched for a way to keep Kenyon Martin from going under the knife, and thereby likely missing the playoffs. The Nuggets want to believe they can beat the Lakers in the playoffs, but that confidence might be shattered without Martin’s physical presence.

Enter Platelet Rich Plasma therapy. And some hope.

According to Mark Spears from Yahoo, that is what Martin started to undergo today and the team expects him back this season. However, no timetable has been set for his return.

So you didn’t go to medical school (oh, how you disappointed your poor mother) and want to know what Platelet Rich Plasma therapy is? The New York Times did a feature on it last year, after a couple of the Pittsburgh Steelers used it and were back for their Super Bowl victory. (Talk about things that seem like a long, long time ago.)

The method, which is strikingly straightforward and easy to perform, centers on injecting portions of a patient’s blood directly into the injured area, which catalyzes the body’s instincts to repair muscle, bone and other tissue. Most enticing, many doctors said, is that the technique appears to help regenerate ligament and tendon fibers, which could shorten rehabilitation time and possibly obviate surgery.

“It’s a better option for problems that don’t have a great solution — it’s nonsurgical and uses the body’s own cells to help it heal,” said Dr. Allan Mishra, an assistant professor of orthopedics at Stanford University Medical Center and one of the primary researchers in the field. “I think it’s fair to say that platelet-rich plasma has the potential to revolutionize not just sports medicine but all of orthopedics. It needs a lot more study, but we are obligated to pursue this.”

Studies be damned, people in sports medicine have plunged full speed ahead into this and the anecdotal has been good. Nuggets fans had better hope that it works, any hope of an NBA title in Denver may rest upon it.

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