Let’s Move Quad Cities keeps Bettendorf man running after chronic injury

BETTENDORF -

Running is a way of life for Rich Fuller.

"It's great," he said. "It's a huge stress reliever."

After competing at Davenport Central and the University of Iowa, the Bettendorf man, 61, is still a familiar sight on the pavement.

But it isn't always easy.  A chronic achilles tendon injury put him on the sidelines.

"We went the course of rest, ice, anti-inflammatories," he recalled.  "And then, it would subside."

Still, though, it kept flaring up.

Rich turned to Dr. Beau Shay at ORA Orthopedics for Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy.

"It's become popular because professional athletes are doing it," Dr. Shay explained.

PRP Therapy uses Rich's own blood during an office appointment.  A centrifuge separates blood into plasma, which is injected back into the tendon.

"That centrifuge basically breaks up the platelets and plasma and gets rid of other inflammatory cells," Dr. Shay said.

Like most procedures, it takes time to recover.  Rich wore a boot for a month to allow time for healing.

"He's very adamant about when you're out of the boot, you can't start running again," Rich said.  "There's a lot of stretching, walking and riding a bike for another four weeks.  Basically, every time you do this, you've got eight weeks where you're not running."

Rich is back to running these days.  While cutting back on his miles, he's still out there almost every day, rain or shine.

Even after three PRP procedures, Rich is glad to be on the move.

"Just to get back into running and being able to do it, even on a fitness basis as opposed to a competitive basis, I'll take that right now," he said.

Each step is a measure of success, and it's great for Dr. Shay to see him back in action.

"It's a satisfying experience when a patient does well," Dr. Shay concluded.  "That's why we're all in the business.  We want to help."

This time, helping Rich Fuller stay a step ahead with PRP Therapy.