Richie Doyle former Kilkenny hurler had a shorter inter county career than he would have ever expected after it was cut short by an ongoing hip problem. In 2012 Richie went for a scan on his hip and discovered he had hip dysplasia.
Richie visited Medica Stem Cells Cork clinic in January to have stem cell therapy on his hip. This treatment takes up to 6 months to become fully effective.
Here is interview with Richie at the end of April on how he has been progressing since his initial treatment:
What were the options that were given to you by the medics when you first found out about the seriousness of your hip injury?
My hip injury forced me to call a halt on my playing career. The only option was surgery but we tried normal mechanisms where by we strengthen the muscles around the hip but I gradually become very immobile. I was deteriorating all the time no matter how much work I was doing with the muscles around the hip and trying to make them stronger. I couldn’t afford to miss that many training sessions and when you are hurling at this level you need to be able to perform at your best every day and that just wasn’t happening. I was 23 at the time and the medics were looking at surgery and I felt I was too young to be getting a hip replacement.
Why did you choose Medica Stem Cells?
Darach Honan recommended Medica Stem Cells to me. He was having hip issues as well. I had put my playing career behind me and Medica Stem Cells then came on the scene and created a massive breakthrough for the whole medical world. It’s the only clinic in Ireland. Medica Stem Cells were now after creating another option for me to give me a better quality of life and think about playing again. This got me out of the dark tunnel and thinking about my playing career without a hip replacement. Hip surgery is a very invasive surgery and obviously the non-invasive is the best option for me.
Richie, how do you feel now since we first treated you 3 months ago?
I got my first injection in January. I felt good leaving. My joint now has never felt so lubricated in a long time. A few days after the injection I was sore. After a few days I started to feel bits of improvement from a walking perspective. Now, three months on my flexibly and my mobility is a lot better than what it was. I am able to do certain exercises now in the gym pain free that I was never able to do. And the last couple of weeks the physio who I was referred to by Medica tem Cells has been seeing huge improvements. I am looking forward to the next three months to see how much it will come and improve.
Are you back training Richie?
I really want to get back. I am linking in with the physio and he will let me know when I am ready but I am in a place now where in the next three months I should be back playing competitive club hurling in Kilkenny and pain free and getting back to playing the sport that I had given up on.
What are the main things in your life now that you have seen a big improvement in since getting the treatment with Medica Stem Cells?
It gets back to basics. The simple things like putting on your socks in the morning. I used to have a catch and I used to be restricted when I would be putting on my socks and my shoes but now with the improved flexibility and movement that is not even an issue. Getting in and out of the car is not an issue. I am now able to get into a proper hip stretch for the first time in 10 years so from that point of view it is brilliant. Before I had stem cell treatment I was getting my hip stretched using the foam roller but you can only do so much of that. Now every time I go back to do it my flexibility is after improving and being able to function normally without thinking about it.
Were you taking pain killers before your stem cell treatment and are you taking any pain killers now?
If I was going to play a club match or a championship match I would take a couple of Difene and really minimise my training to settle any inflammation in my joints to make sure I get through the game.
If I wasn’t playing a match I would take a couple of Difene every two weeks or so to manage it but I am not a fan of taking tablets. I don’t need to take anything now. I feel a massive improvement strength wise. I am walking a lot better and I am feeling a lot better within myself which I think is the biggest benefit of the stem cell treatment. I used to be conscious of my hip in everyday life and now it is coming to a stage where I am not thinking about it and I can get on with other things which is the biggest benefit for me.