"Showtime" Pettis knew 2013 was his year. After winning a
World Extreme Cagefighting Lightweight Championship at age 23, Pettis
was hungry for another belt.
He had spent
most of 2012 recovering from a labral tear in his shoulder, repaired
by Dr. William Pennington, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with
Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital. Arthroscopic stabilization
surgery tightened the ligament and addressed other areas damaged by
procedure allowed treatment to all of the pathology in Anthony’s
shoulder and returned him to a high level of physical activity,"
martial arts is "the ultimate contact sport," says
Pennington. "It taxes all parts of the body."
before a featherweight championship bout, Pettis was injured again.
Although the torn lateral collateral ligament in his right knee did
not require surgery, UFC doctors predicted at least six weeks of
therapy. Pettis wasn’t expected to make the fight.
ready to become a champion but I was sidelined," Pettis says. His
trusted surgeon, Pennington, offered a cutting-edge technique that
would get him back to training within weeks. "He gave me
hope," Pettis says.
solution was autologous concentrated platelets, which contain
bioactive proteins and growth factors that can accelerate soft tissue
repair and regeneration. Pettis had blood drawn that was then spun in
a centrifuge. The platelet-rich plasma, extracted from his own cells,
was injected in the injured area to initiate healing. The goal was six
weeks to recovery.
Pettis wore a
brace to protect the ligament and started rehab soon after. "In
four weeks I was back to 100 percent," he says. "It was
exactly on point. I stayed on track and had my title fight."
On Aug. 31,
2013, Pettis challenged Benson Henderson at the BMO Harris Bradley
Center and defeated him in the first round. Pettis is the current UFC
Lightweight Champion. "Pennington went out of his way to
accommodate me. He did everything in his power to get me back into the
octagon," he says.
plasma treatments are still undergoing clinical trials, and Pennington
says the technique won’t work for everyone. "In this situation
it helped Anthony heal faster and get back to his sport."