PRP: The Best Catch

Rob Hoedel has worked on some of the world’s most treacherous seas and even survived a few ships sinking. A third-generation fisherman out of Kodiak Island, Alaska, Hoedel made a success of his commercial fishing operation and survived more than 50 years at sea without a major physical setback, until last summer.

Hoedel tried to pull a 120-pound halibut into his boat, the Windigo. “I hurt my rotator cuff really bad,” he explained. “I never knew there was that much pain in an injury. I couldn’t even raise my arm.”

A load of salmon on the fishing boat.

A load of salmon on the fishing boat.

Two small tears and one large rip. A guy who admits he doesn’t like the thought of “goin’ under the knife” or taking pain pills, Hoedel might have tried to play the tough guy and just sweat-out the long-term shoulder injury. But his brother and partner in the family fishing business, Doug, injured both shoulders before Hoedel’s summer battle with the five-foot, nine-inch Halibut. Since Doug has a summer home outside Phoenix, he went to Southwest Spine & Sports. Naturally, he told Rob about SWSS when he hurt his shoulder.

Rob and his brother Doug in Chandler, AZ.

Rob and his brother Doug in Chandler, AZ.

“My brother went to SWSS and had Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy in both shoulders,” Hoedel said. “He said I had to go there.”

PRP is one of the most exciting emerging forms of regenerative medicine for soft tissue injuries. Safe, effective, and all natural, PRP heals damaged joints and soft tissue injuries while also relieving pain. PRP therapy uses a small sample of the patient’s own blood, spun in a centrifuge to concentrate platelets, then injected into the injured area. An alternative to surgery, PRP injections are getting great results for patients of all ages. The physicians at Southwest Spine & Sports have been practicing regenerative medicine for decades helping patients live pain-free, from elite athletes to weekend warriors. And now fishermen off the coast of Alaska.

Rob Hoedel became a believer immediately. Just one session improved Hoedel’s shoulder, allowing him to raise his arm above his head. But he left SWSS even more impressed with Dr. Michael Wolff’s diagnostic abilities. “He knew exactly what was hurting,” he said. “He touched a certain spot on my arm and said ‘you developed arthritis right there.’ I thought, wow, how does he know that?” Hoedel is so pleased with PRP he’s spreading the word about SWSS among his fellow Alaskan fishermen, already referring three or four friends with shoulder problems like his.

Rob skiing in Colorado after PRP.

Rob skiing in Colorado after PRP.

Shoulder injuries are among the most common physical ailments for fisherman, if not the most common, Hoedel noted. He hopes his friends will make the trip to SWSS since his November PRP treatments were so valuable. Good health is vital in a business known for dangerous conditions, Hoedel said. “We play for keeps.”

For more information or to schedule a consultation, click here or call us today at (480) 860-8998.