Restored: Muscle Cars and Torn Muscles
Monday, April 24, 2023
Taking a worn-down, broken muscle car and transforming it into a flashy fresh ride takes time, skills and finances, but John Rusinko and his wife Haddi say it’s worth it. They spend retirement side by side, saving vintage vehicles from rusty fates by restoring them into gorgeous, roaring rides.
Last year, John’s attention broadened from restoring muscle cars to restoring muscle when he was thrown from his lawn mower after sliding down a steep hill on his property.
“I believe that’s when I hurt my hamstring,” he said. “A month later, I went hunting and fell.”
For the next several months, John lived with a sharp, stabbing pain. An MRI revealed a partially torn hamstring muscle. Despite steroid injections and physical therapy, the pain remained. Then he met Brenton Bohlig, M.D., a Fellowship-trained and Board-certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist at Genesis Orthopedic Sports Medicine, who recommended a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection.
Accelerate healing by fueling up
PRP treatments use the patient’s blood cells to accelerate healing. To create the platelet-rich plasma, a sample of whole blood is usually drawn from the arm and then placed into a device called a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins until the platelets separate and become concentrated within the blood’s plasma. This platelet-dense precious plasma can fuel and accelerate healing when injected directly into an injured area.
“Using platelet-rich plasma harnesses the body’s natural healing ability,” said Dr. Bohlig. The injection utilizes the patient’s blood as the activating agent, so patients sidestep adverse reactions that may come with medications or foreign substances.
“It’s a more natural way. Harnessing the proteins and growth factors that promote healing lets your body do what it’s meant to do. We simply direct where the healing takes place. It’s wonderful to see how this treatment benefits people with partially torn tendons and ligaments,” Dr. Bohlig said.
PRP injections deliver results
On the day of the injection, Dr. Bohlig told John not to anticipate results for about six weeks. John waited patiently, and relief came right on cue.
“Within the seventh week, I was walking fine. Before, it felt like someone had stuck a knife in me and never pulled it out, but after those six weeks, I had no pain. All because of my blood,” he said. “No medications, no therapy, just my blood.”
Guiding patients on the road to recovery
With his hamstring healed, John returned to living his best life. He remains pain-free more than a year after the PRP injection. He hunts, chops wood and cares for his land. On most days, John uses his restored hamstring to twist and turn around the vehicles he and his wife enjoy restoring.
For Dr. Bohlig, success stories like John’s fuel his desire to restore people to their best quality of life. “It’s great to see people return after treatment,” he said. “Where there was a grimace on their face from pain with certain movements, there’s now a smile as they show off what they can do. I’m thrilled that we can provide the care they need on the road to recovery.”