Greg Oden and Kobe Bryant have more in common than just the love of basketball: Stem Cell therapy. Both NBA first round picks, Oden and Bryant underwent Stem Cell procedures in order to correct their injurious knees. Kobe Bryant is now seen reaping the benefits of the world-class procedure, where doctors use the patient’s own tissues to make a serum by spinning it in a centrifuge; the serum is then injected into the knee (or other injured anatomical areas). The newly administered, stem cell product then works to stop inflammation, reduce pain, and correct signs of tissue damage, according to ESPN.
As Kobe Bryant has made a full recovery, averaging 30.0 points per game during this 2011-2012 NBA postseason, it is evident the effects of these Stem Cell therapy procedures. Specifically, Kobe received his Stem cell treatment with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) surgery in Germany, while Oden received his surgery right here in the United States. Both surgeries are virtually similar, and now are attainable in the United States under the care of qualified physicians.
Greg Oden entered the 2007 NBA draft after his standout freshman year at Ohio State, where he earned the prestigious title of an Associated Press All-American (along side him was current NBA star Kevin Durant). Since being selected as the #1 pick in the 2007 NBA draft by the Portland Trailblazers, Oden has only played one season’s worth of games in five seasons (2007-2012). By the beginning of this most recent 2011-2012 NBA season, Oden had already undergone four major knee surgeries: three micro-fracture procedures and one surgery on a fractured patella. Out of these three only one of his knee injuries occurred during a game.
As a last attempt to strengthen his knees, Oden received the Stem Cell therapy procedure earlier in May 2012. While complete rehabilitation from the previous micro-fracture surgeries would have been ideal, the necessity for the cell based procedure was dire and would aid in his overall recovery process, according to Oden’s doctor. As an attempt to accelerate healing to his knee injury, this procedure should set him on the right path to recovery.
Oden has not considered retirement; instead, he has elected to sit out the upcoming 2012-2013 NBA season in order to ensure a full and proper recovery. Almost ten years younger than Kobe Bryant, Oden is expected to have a promising recovery, as his knees have not acquired that wear and tear over the past seasons he has missed; his large stature plays a toll on his knees, but while he has been in and out of recovering from various surgeries, their use in that aspect has been minimal.
While there is no time estimate for his return to the NBA, Oden is only 24 years young, with plenty of time left on the clock to make a name for himself, like any number one draft pick should. Oden possesses all of the potential in the world to be an NBA power-house center. The Stem Cell procedure will hopefully be the key to unlocking that potential. While 2014 is a long ways from his draft in 2007, Oden will be healthy, contributing to a winning program, and on his way to reaching his prime.
Copyright © 2012 Alex Martin MD & Francesca Coxe, Los Angeles. Edited by Devin Stone
1. Dwyer, Kelly. “Greg Oden Underwent the Same Knee Procedure That Served Kobe Bryant and Alex Rodriguez so Well.” Yahoo! Sports. 18 May 2012. Web. 22 May 2012. <http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/greg-oden-underwent-same-knee-procedure-served-kobe-210522148.html>.
2. McMenamin, Dave. “Kobe Bryant’s Knee Is key.” ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures, 28 Apr. 2012. Web. 22 May 2012. <http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/7865760/kobe-bryant-knee-key-los-angeles-lakers>.
3. Thompson, Teri. “Kobe, A-Rod Treatments center On proteins.” New York Daily News. 28 Dec. 2011. Web. 22 May 2012. <http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-12-28/news/30566840_1_prp-blood-cells-maharam>.