OAA Patient Ambassador: Olivia Snyder

June 04, 2019

Meet Olivia Snyder, a senior at Southern Lehigh High School and one of the top basketball players in Pennsylvania. Olivia just finished up an incredible high school career, in which she won four district and four colonial league titles, set the Southern Lehigh all-time scoring record with 2,077 points, and was awarded the Morning Call Player of the Year Award for her senior season. Not only is she an outstanding athlete, but she is also an excellent student finishing her senior year in the top 1% of her graduating class.

OliviaSnyder.png Olivia says she models her game after her favorite players Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson, inspired by Kyrie’s smooth finishes and Klay’s shooting mechanics. Like Kyrie and Klay, Olivia has risen to the top by putting in long hours at the gym mastering her craft. And like Kyrie and Klay, Olivia has shown resilience in overcoming adversity and injuries along the way.

During Olivia’s sophomore year AAU season, she started feeling a sharp pain in the patellar tendon region of her knee. She states, “After my knee pain began, I was no longer able to run and jump without pain. This limited me in basketball and in volleyball. The constant pounding on my knee enhanced the pain, and I was unable to practice or play to my full potential.” Olivia even decided to give up volleyball out of concern that she would irritate her knee further before the high school basketball season would begin.

After seeing several doctors and still finding no answers for her knee pain, Olivia scheduled an appointment with Dr. Crosson of OAA’s Regenerative Medicine Institute. It seemed it was destiny, as Olivia realized that she had played basketball with Dr. Crosson in a summer league game. Dr. Crosson is a former captain of the Muhlenberg College Women’s Basketball Team, and still enjoys playing in the summer. Olivia says, “The basketball connection made me comfortable because she played the sport and knew how any treatment would affect me on the court. Her experience with a collegiate sport helps her understand the consequences of treatment and empathize with athletes.”

At Olivia’s visit, Dr. Crosson took a closer look at her patellar tendon and possible treatment options. Dr. Crosson explains, “Olivia had pain that was limiting her ability to play at the level she was used to. She had already done physical therapy without much success.” Dr. Crosson discussed treatment options with Olivia, with one being Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP).

PRP therapy is a non-operative regenerative medicine treatment option that uses components of the patient’s own blood cells to help relieve pain and accelerate healing. Blood is drawn and then placed in a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma from other blood components. The platelets are then injected back into the patient in the targeted area. Dr. Crosson states, “Olivia was a great candidate for PRP because she is a healthy athlete performing at a high level and motivated to get better.”

Olivia felt comfortable proceeding with this treatment after speaking with Dr. Crosson. She states, “Dr. Crosson is kind, compassionate, and cares about her patients. My interactions with Dr. Crosson and her staff were pleasant. They were kind, compassionate, and patient during the procedure. They explained the step-by-step procedure, which put me at ease because I was really interested in the process.”

The toughest part of treatment for Olivia was having to rest from basketball. Dr. Crosson understood this and worked with Olivia to figure out a time in between seasons when she could take some time off to recover. Olivia states, “The combination of the PRP, rest, and physical therapy helped treat my knee, and now, I no longer have pain. Although it was tough to sit out for 3 months, it was worth the wait because now I can play pain-free.”

“After PRP, I was able to get back into basketball without pain and go to the gym without worrying about how it would affect my knee. Before PRP, I was never able to condition, lift, or practice because I was always in pain.” Olivia’s hard work and resilience paid off as she went on to have an outstanding senior season, leading her team to the colonial league and district championship and to the Class 5A State Semi-Finals.

Olivia is now headed to Georgetown University, where she will play basketball and plans to either major in finance or biology. She has set high goals and has the determination and perseverance to achieve them. Dr. Crosson says, “She did great with treatment and responded very well. I am so proud of her dedication to her rehab. She had a great season and will have a successful career ahead of her at Georgetown.”

Dr. Crosson is one of the few physicians in the Lehigh Valley that offers regenerative medicine treatment options; including platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy and stem cell therapy. She has the distinction of being an affiliate of Bluetail Medical Group – a nationally renowned leader in the practice and advancement of orthopaedic regenerative medicine.

OAA’s Regenerative Medicine Institute uses regenerative medicine therapies, including platelet-rich plasma and stem cell, to help heal injuries, both acute and chronic, by restoring the structure and function of damaged tissues. Conditions treated at OAA's Regenerative Medicine Institute include osteoarthritis, tendon injuries, ligament and muscle tears, and more.

Not everyone is a candidate for regenerative medicine, so it is important to discuss with your doctor to decide if regenerative medicine is an appropriate treatment option for you. It may not be recommended if you have a current malignancy, infection, or if you are taking certain blood thinners. Our physicians will do a thorough consultation with you to determine if stem cell therapy or PRP therapy is a suitable treatment option for you to consider given your medical history and injury.

Learn more about Dr. Crosson and OAA Orthopaedic Specialists’ Regenerative Medicine Institute. To schedule an appointment, call OAA at 610-973-6200 or fill out the “Request an Appointment” form on our website.