PRP gives Retired MMA Fighter Brian Gassaway a Second Wind
Updated: Jun 24, 2018
Brian Gassaway is one of Chicago's original Mixed Martial Artists with professional fights going back as far as 1996. A veteran of the cage with fights in mainstream organizations that include the UFC, WEC, Pancrase, and King of the Cage, Gassaway has fought all over the globe.
Officially retired since his last fight in Singapore on September 16, 2010, Gassaway continues to train recreationally. He also coaches local fighters at his gym, Chicago MMA in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago.
As expected from any professional athlete at the end of his career, Gassaway has sustained his share of injuries, many of which have continued to plague him in the form of chronic pain. His right shoulder in particular has plagued him since an injury over ten years ago.
After visiting multiple physicians, chiropractors, and physical therapists over the years, Gassaway decided to give regenerative medicine a try. He contacted Prolotech at Motus Integrative Health in Schererville, Indiana and signed up for a platelet-rich plasma injection.
There, he was seen by Dr. Eric Moon who used ultrasound to identify several partial tears in the rotator cuff. After drawing his blood and spinning it down to isolate the platelet fraction, Moon gave him a comprehensive shoulder treatment with a focus on the areas of injury that were identified.
"He had some glenohumeral instability and several tears in the supraspinatus tendon," Dr. Moon states. "He also had diffuse tendinosis and a small tear in the infraspinatus and tendinosis of the subscapularis as well."
Dr. Moon injected all of the tendon attachments as well as the coracoid process, its associated ligaments, the anterior and posterior capsule, and the superior labrum. Gassaway could not believe the results.
Gassaway states, "I came into this with a healthy skepticism about the procedure. Because of the numerous specialist I've seen throughout my 20 year fight career, I didn't really expect much. But I started noticing improvement about 3 or 4 days after the procedure. Two weeks out my shoulder felt stable and much stronger. Now it has twice the range of motion that it used to, and the quickness in my punches has come back. I'm looking to get my other shoulder done soon."
Regenerative Injection Therapy technically remains unproven, but the anecdotal evidence is overwhelming. PRP is considered the standard of care among professional athletes in the NFL and the NBA where just about every athlete receives regenerative injections after significant injuries.
Platelet Rich Plasma is an excellent treatment modality for partial rotator cuff tears and even labral injuries in the shoulder. It can also be used to treat ligament and tendon injuries in other joints including the elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles.