September 6SURGERY VS PRP FOR ELBOW TENDINOSIS
WHAT IS ELBOW TENDINOSIS?
Elbow Tendinosis is a repetitive overuse injury that occurs when the stress on a tendon exceeds its tolerance to resist stress most commonly resulting in a microtear. When this microtear occurs the tendon cells (commonly known as fibroblasts) make an increase of collagen and cross linkages with other fibroblasts are formed. It is this that gives tendons their strength and enables them to continue being despite being injured or under stress. The process for the collagen to be synthesized and grow into truly stable cross links naturally takes time. Too often though, the rate of injury exceeds your body’s ability to continually repair itself and it results in tissue damage. Over time the degeneration of the tendon results in Tendinosis.
WHAT WAS THE STUDY?
One hundred and forty patients all with Chronic Elbow Tendinosis were all initially evaluated and given a standard physical therapy protocol along with other nonoperative treatments. Twenty of these patients were selected to participate in this study. Of those that were considering surgery 15 tested to see if first using Platelet Rich Plasma would reduce pain and increase function.
All twenty of those patients had been in severe persistent pain for an average of 15 months. These patients were divided into two groups – one group acted as the control group and the other was given an injection of Platelet Rich Plasma.
WHAT WERE THE RESULTS?
Eight weeks after the treatment, the patients that had received Platelet Rich Plasma reported a 60% improvement in their pain. Of the control patients, there was only a 16% improvement in pain. After this first round, all five of the initial control patients opted to receive another method of treatment. Those that were treated with Platelet Rich Plasma continued evaluation. At six months, their pain scores had improved by 81% and at the final evaluation after 2 years. The patients reported a 93% reduction in pain compared to before the treatment.
Patients suffering from elbow tendinosis experienced a significant reduction in pain by the conclusion of the study. It was concluded that Platelet Rich Plasma should be considered before turning to surgery.