Tennis Elbow can be a debilitating condition causing pain over the outer aspect of the elbow.
Tendinopathy is the medical word for tiny tears in muscle and tendon fibres and is common in middle age. There are similar conditions with Golfers Elbow on the inner aspect of the elbow, Achilles tendonitis about 5cm above the heel bone, and what was previously called Trochanteric Bursitis on the outer side of the hip.
Non operative treatments include physiotherapy, stretching exercises, eccentric training, and sometimes activity modification. Surgery is only rarely indicated, leaving a large number of people who are frustrated! Cortisone injections for tennis elbow work temporarily, in 50% people they seem to be curative.
The current trend is toward treating these conditions with either the patient’s own blood, or platelets. Either way, some blood taken from the patient is mixed with local anaesthetic, and injected into the damage tissue. This seems to incite a healing response. Doctors often talk about the growth factors in the injections, and some surmise there are more growth factors in part of the blood, platelets. The Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) involves taking 60ml of blood, and centrifuging it to get the 2ml of PRP. It needs more blood, more equipment and time, and more cost. Success rates seems to be about 90% with either of these treatments, but some locations are suitable for the simple treatment – e.g. elbow & achilles.
Autologous Blood Injections (ABI) is a simple procedure performed for Tennis Elbow & Achilles Tendonitis, performed in the consulting rooms taking 15-20minutes, and has substantially reduced the number of these cases needing surgery. PRP treatments are a bit more of a fiddle, preformed in the treatment rooms of BallaratOSM. The fees are not funded by Medicare, there are no Medicare or private health insurance rebates available.
~ Mr David Mitchell