For Ally Peterson, a 19-year-old from Napa, years of training and sacrifice paid off when her dreams of competing at the college-level in springboard diving became a reality. However, there were times when Ally’s dreams were almost derailed. Two separate injuries threatened to end her college sports career, the first happening before it even got started. Thankfully, new techniques in regenerative orthopedics developed by the Napa Medical Research Foundation helped keep Ally’s athletic aspirations on track.
Peterson, who attends Denison University in Ohio, says she almost had to quit diving due to an ankle injury that happened while diving for Nationals in high school. “I had MRIs, I had X-rays, I had all sorts of tests and nobody could figure it out,” explains Ally. This ultimately led her to seek the help of Dr. Bodor.
Ally first learned of the advances being made by the Napa Medical Research Foundation when she was asked to participate in the Foundation’s Sever’s Study when she was just 12 years old. Her dramatic improvement from Sever’s Disease, which was made possible by her participation in the study, left a big impression on Ally and her parents. In fact, regenerative orthopedics is now a household go-to, according to Ally’s mother, Christie Peterson, who was the first in the family to receive treatment from the Bodor Clinic in 2014.
Thanks to the use of high-powered ultrasound to detect soft tissue tears, Dr. Bodor (who is also Director of Research at the Foundation), was able to pinpoint the exact location of Ally’s injury and provide her with a precise ultrasound-guided injection of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to an injured ligament not seen on the MRI. Ally says “without that procedure I wouldn’t have been able to keep diving.”
So when Ally injured her back this past August, Christie immediately took her to Dr. Bodor to see if he could help her yet again. Ally says the incident happened when she was weight-lifting with her college diving team: “I had just won conference and was getting ready for regions when the injury happened. I was diagnosed with a herniated disc and a slipped disc.” According to Dr. Bodor, “we’ve been studying this since 2013 and had a hunch that platelets alone without white cells would improve results. Our recent research study published in Spine journal Nov. 2020 confirmed our hunch, showing higher rates of cell proliferation and hyaluronic acid (the gel inside discs) production with this formula.”
After her intradiscal and facet joint platelet procedure, Ally said, “within a couple weeks it was a lot better… it’s almost completely healed now. I can do everything again,” says Ally. “Before the procedure, the pain was at a 7-8. I was not doing well… it was hard to walk, it was hard for me to really do anything and then after the procedure, and after the initial injection pain went away, in like two or three weeks, it was down to a 2. It was a good, fast fix.”
Christie says after the tremendous recoveries both she and Ally have made through the years, she wouldn’t hesitate to do regenerative procedures in the future: “Even though our injuries weren’t bad enough for surgery, they were also injuries that were just going to nag at us for the rest of our lives. They were going to cause us life-long problems.” Christie says she is grateful to Dr. Bodor and his research team, especially for Ally’s sake. “They are the reason my daughter is able to compete in college diving. It really is fantastic.”