Kobe's knee therapy even space-agier than originally thought

Interesting stuff from ESPN The Magazine's Shawn Asseal, regarding the knee procedure Kobe Bryant underwent in Germany. Though it was widely described as PRP treatment -- the effectiveness of which is questioned, at least in some medical circles -- apparently Kobe, as he often does, went a step beyond:

"... Bryant traveled to Dusseldorf, Germany, in June for treatment, as previously reported. ESPN The Magazine has learned that he was treated by Dr. Peter Wehling, an influential but little-known molecular orthopedist who insists he's having breakthrough success repairing aging joints by manipulating his patients' blood.

According to a source familiar with Bryant's treatment, his blood was treated to isolate growth factors that attack inflammation, and then cultured with chemicals to increase their potency before being injected into his arthritic right knee. Wehling declined to confirm or deny that he treated Bryant. But in a rare interview about his work, he told ESPN The Magazine, "I am the only one to have found a way to cure arthritis..."

... Although Wehling's procedure shares some similarity to traditional platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, the physician says he's achieved a nearly 90 percent success rate by genetically screening his patients to personalize their treatments."

Asseal reports Bryant was introduced to Wehling through Tracy McGrady, and for anyone concerned about the doc's bona fides, Wehling also at one point treated Pope John Paul II. I suspect they don't just hand popes over to whatever doctor pops up in the yellow pages.

Dr. Wehling's basic concept is described on the website for a company he co-founded called Orthogen. The truly ambitious can take a look at this page, pointing toward scientific publications regarding Wehling's work.

And now, because it better fits my level of medical expertise, I'm going back to playing this.