The patient was in her late forties and works in an office occupation involving a good deal of keyboard work. She developed pain on the outside of the elbow causing problems with grip, lifting everyday objects and work functions. The problem worsened and she was treated with a steroid injection along with physical therapy and splinting, the repeated both times with only transient benefit. I therefore treated her with aPRP injection under ultrasound control to the areas of inflammation on he lateral epicondyle. She told me it was pretty painful and it took about 2 months but she is ow completely pain free.
aPRP is a recently described treatment for tendon and soft-tissue injuries. A volume of the patient’s own blood is removed and centrifuged (spun) under sterile conditions to separate the platelet cells which are then resuspended in the patients own plasma (blood fluid) and used by injection. Platelets cells are biologically active and secrete growth factors and other agents which have anti-inflammatory and tissue repair effects. They can succeed where the conventional steroid injections fail, as here. Reported outcomes are more long-lasting than simple steroid injection.
Importantly the regenerative effects and the fact they are very safe in use may make them a better choice for certain conditions where repeated use of steroid is to be avoided because of potentially weakening effects of steroid in tendons and cartilage. aPRP is also being used in knee regenerative procedures and works as an effective injection for inflamed knee joints (Prof Annan Shetty, personal communication).