Britton gets PRP injection (w. postgame notes)

Orioles pitcher Zach Britton received two rounds of Platet Rich Plasma therapy on Wednesday, a new and increasingly popular procedure that he hopes will help heal the left shoulder inflammation that has plagued him since August.

Britton, who had the procedure recommended to him by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla. on Wednesday morning, said he was told by Andrews to look at this as a “six-week or more process”, depending on how his body heals.  He called the entire injury experience, “obviously frustrating” but the hope continues to be that the 24-year-old lefty, who had an MRI taken that shows no structural damage, will be able to avoid surgery and pitch healthy at some point this season.

“I have a follow up appointment with Dr Andrews and he will assess and see how things are,” Britton said. “So, nothing will happen overnight.”

The procedure, called PRP, consists of centrifuging the patient’s blood to isolate platelets and growth factors. The mix is then injected back into the injured area to accelerate healing, and help speed tissue growth. Britton said the procedure was recommended over a standard Cortisone injection because it’s a way for the body to heal itself. The concentrated growth factors have been shown to speed tissue growth and healing in several studies, although the results are still disputed. The procedure has been done by a few other notable athletes including Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods.

While Britton was already a longshot for Opening Day, Wednesday’s news makes it a certainty he will not be ready to start the season. Britton mentioned the end of April as a potential target date, although he later admitted that his timetable is very much up in the air.

“I’m not going to rush back and have the same issue crop back up,” he said. “It’s just a process that I’ve got to take. I’m frustrated with it, but if it’s going to help me pitch and have a long career, that’s the most important thing. Not necessarily being ready to pitch in April.”

“It could go faster, it could go slower, you just don’t know. It’s truly unknown right now. You just have to see how my body reacts in a couple weeks.”

Britton won’t pick up a ball for at least 7-10 days, although it could be longer before he starts any kind of shoulder rehab program.





Here are a few postgame notes…

*Pitchers Willie Eyre, Miguel Socolovich, Jon Link and Oscar Villarreal were optioned to Minor League camp following Wednesday’s game.  The moves brings the spring roster to 43, with 23 pitchers.

*The Orioles signed Josh Barfield to a Minor League deal on Wednesday, according to Baseball America.  Barfield, 29, last appeared in the majors with the Indians in 2009 and is a second baseman.

*Ryan Flaherty made his spring debut at first base, entering the game in the top of the sixth inning. Flaherty, who is trying to make the team in a bench role, has played everywhere but catcher and centerfield this spring and looks to be a favorite to make the team among the group of “utility” players.


PRP is an experimental procedure that takes the patients blood platelets and injects into the sight of an injury – muscle sprain/strain. There is a period of rest, and if the patient rests would get better anyway. There is no long term research on this procedure, it is thought to speed the healing process. Have not heard it being used for inflammation – though ice and rest for inflammation is the norm. If there is scar tissue and adhesions in the shoulder then PRP would NOT address that. Largely experimental and no real long term data to support that PRP works. I have seen the results of PRP & is quite the mess! Just sayin.

There’s no real side effects though. From the people I’ve talked to, it would be very rare for it get any worse, so it’s worth a shot. I have more in a blog up now.

uflygirl, where did you study medicine?

I am a trigger point therapist (massage) and work on several NFL pros so I have seen everything that has been done to these guys bodies and it makes me shake my head what they allow themselves to go through. I would not have anyone do any experimental procedure on me. There is no research that PRP works. There is a long rest period after the procedure which would allow the patient to rest and recover anyway. The idea is to get blood to the area to speed healing by injecting their own blood into the site. They can also do dry needling of the area where they insert the needle to create bleeding in the area. The downside is the long rest period as most guys want to get out and play quickly and it could cause infection and MORE inflammation – anytime you inject anything into your body you are at risk for more injury in the area, pain, and infection. Again, there is no research that this procedure even works. It does nothing to address scar tissue in the area or pain at the site. I have worked on guys that had PRP and they have a lot of pain and scar tissue and the area where the injections are done looks very nasty. Rest and manual therapy to break down scar tissue will also increase blood flow to the area and speed healing – something that doctors are not going to do, but I have had a lot of success with my therapy with short turnaround time. I use trigger point therapy and also neuromuscular techniques with great success in rehabbing pros & getting they out their playing quickly. Just sayin

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