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Platelet-Rich Plasma Improves Pain of Tennis Elbow

Treatment helps patients unresponsive to non-surgical treatments

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic elbow tendinosis that is unresponsive to non-surgical treatments may benefit from treatment with platelet-rich plasma, which can improve pain considerably, researchers report in the November issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

Allan Mishra, M.D., of Stanford University Medical Center in Menlo Park, Calif., and a colleague treated 15 patients with chronic severe elbow tendinosis that could not be resolved by non-operative methods. The patients were given a single injection of buffered platelet-rich plasma made from their own blood, and they took part in a stretching and strengthening protocol. As a control, five patients with the same condition were treated with bupivacaine.

After eight weeks, the researchers found that visual analog pain scores significantly improved in patients treated with platelet-rich plasma (60 percent versus 16 percent). At the final follow-up, a mean of 25.6 months later, patients who had received platelet-rich plasma reported 93 percent less pain compared with before treatment.

"Treatment of patients with chronic elbow tendinosis with buffered platelet-rich plasma reduced pain significantly in this pilot investigation," the authors conclude.

The study was funded in part by Cell Factor Technologies.

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