Sara was an active student and athlete and enjoying her senior year in high school. As a competitive cheerleader, she put her skills to work as a member of her high school cheer squad, flipping and jumping with her team. But all that came to a screeching halt the day she was dropped on her head. In addition, she participated as a member of the crew and dive teams.
In October of 2018, Sara was practicing a stunt with her high school cheer team. Her teammates were supporting her on their arms but when she went to do the stunt, her teammates couldn’t catch her. They accidentally dropped her; the back of her head hit the ground first.
Sara was diagnosed with a severe concussion, but she and her primary doctor were unaware of the full extent of her injuries.
Months after the accident Sara was recovering from her concussion, but her progression eventually stalled as her pain was increasing. Sara was unable to go out with friends, even looking at her school books was painful for this honor roll student.
Ultimately, a visit with Dr. Niteesh Bharara, Director of Regenerative Medicine at Virginia Spine Institute revealed she had cervical whiplash and 1, a condition that affects 3 million Americans each year causing the vertebrae to shift. She went through physical therapy, but Sara would later reaggravate the injury.
Knowing Sara’s mom wanted to help her daughter avoid surgery, Dr. Bharara recommended regenerative medicine and a treatment known as platelet-rich plasma injections or PRP. The procedure uses elements of the patient’s own blood. Her medical team drew her blood, spun it down to get her platelets and injected it back into the point of her injury. The goal is to accelerate healing by strengthening ligaments. In Sara’s case, that’s exactly what it did, setting her on a path to recovery.
Today Sara’s vertebrae in her neck are stable and the pain is gone. She went from not being able to do virtually anything to enjoying life once again. As a result of the procedure, Sara was able to go to her Senior Prom where she could dance and have fun without worrying she would be in pain. Three months after the procedure, Sara enjoyed trips to the beach and even returned to the gym.
Thank you to my team!
- Dr. Bharara - Pain Management Specialist