Orthobiologic Treatments for Firefighters
For the past few months, with wildfires raging throughout our beautiful valley, it has been difficult to concentrate on anything BUT fire. We would like to express our gratitude for all the first responders who have helped us and worked so hard to save our community. We thought of the many firefighters who had orthobiologic treatments being researched by the NMRF and decided to check in with Evette and her husband Rick who have spent over 20 years fighting fires.
Evette says she suffered many injuries over the years and that after surgeries and physical therapy failed to relieve her pain, she eventually found the relief she needed by undergoing treatments at the Bodor Clinic. “My knee injury happened when we were loading someone on a helicopter from a bike accident. I was on rough terrain and there was a gopher hole. My foot went in and I felt my knee pop. I was in so much pain that I couldn’t even squat, which we often have to do when fighting a fire.
That’s when I realized this was a serious injury,” explains Evette. She had surgery for her injury and soon after was promoted to Fire Investigator in Richmond.
She was cleared by her doctors to go back to work, but soon afterwards, tore her knee again. “After that I was always in pain and icing it. I was constantly guarding my knee. This went on for a couple of years.” Her doctor, David Goodman MD, who specializes in occupational medicine in San Rafael, suggested that she try a PRP procedure for her knee. “After my surgery, I couldn’t bend my knee when sitting on the ground, like ‘criss cross apple sauce.’ I couldn’t do that anymore. But after my procedure at the Bodor Clinic, I can do all of those things again. I am 100% better. It’s incredible,” says Evette.
Evette explains that Richmond is a very industrial city and they do inspections for businesses such as warehouses and train yards. “I was straddling a tanker on a train and I ended up tearing my hip labrum, detaching it from the bone.” She had hip surgery but still experienced intense pain. Evette wanted to try PRP for her hip.
Unfortunately, her request to have it covered was denied by Workers’ Compensation insurance. Dr. Goodman told her that her next option would be a hip replacement. Upon further review, Worker’s Compensation decided to cover the cost for PRP. “The insurance companies are finally getting the idea that these procedures are effective and way less expensive than surgery. They finally figured out like ‘Hey, let’s do something to keep people working longer!’”
Using ultrasound, Kevin Pelletier, MD (former Bodor Clinic Fellow), found a persistent gap between her hip labrum and bone. He then applied two layers of biologic treatments, the first being a platelet matrix and the second being free platelets to close the gap. Three months later, her hip pain was 90% resolved. Evette says she is so grateful for how the PRP procedures took away her knee and hip pain: “It was a way that I could continue to stay active.” After seeing her success, her husband is a believer, too. “My husband works for Oakland Fire Department and he had PRP to his knee six weeks after his surgery. It made his pain go away. He is back to work now and says his knee feels great. I always joke that I could be a spokesperson for the