Is Platelet-Rich Plasma Effective For Tennis Elbow?

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and the similar Autologous Blood Injection (ABI) appear to be a promising, new treatment approach to stubborn, chronic tendon injuries, like Golfer's Elbow and Tennis Elbow – But is that just the "hype" talking?

  1. Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy Tennis Elbow
    Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy Tennis Elbow
  2. The Super Bowl of 2009 seems to have kicked off more than just a football, following the highly publicized stories of Pittsburgh Steelers Hines Ward's and Troy Polamalu's use of Platelet-Rich Plasma injection therapy to treat their injuries prior to winning the game.
  3. This article, by David Kohn in The New Yorker, (2009) covers some of history of this innovative therapy approach along with Chris Waddell's success story with using it to heal his Rotator Cuff injury.
  4. "Interest in P.R.P. is growing in part because traditional treatments for joint problems, such as arthritis, torn ligaments, and damaged tendons, are only marginally effective." [Quote from story above.]
  5. Later in Dec. '09 The Scientific American joined the discussion (mentioning Tiger Woods 4 PRP injection treatments that year following his knee surgery) with an interview with Dennis A. Cardone, a doctor of osteopathic medicine at the New York University (N.Y.U.) Hospital for Joint Diseases.
  6. "We all would like to see more evidence for this therapy. While there is some evidence, we still do not have the type of randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled studies that we would like to see." [Quoting Dr. Cardone, above]
  7. How Does PRP Therapy Work? (In Theory)

  8. In the video below, Dr. Brian C. Halpern, Sports Medicine Physician at Hospital for Special Surgery, explains the theory of how Platelet-Rich Plasma injection therapy may help treat soft tissue injuries, (tendons ligaments, etc.) like Tennis Elbow and Golfer's Elbow.
  9. Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatment for Injured Tendons, Muscles and Joints
  10. The following video shows a patient with severe Tennis Elbow 'Lateral Epicondylitis' being treated with Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy by Gregory J. Yanish, M.D. Surgeon at Capital Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Iowa.
  11. Dr. Yanish demonstrates every step of the procedure, from the initial blood drawing, to the centrifuging process, to prepping the elbow area and finally making the injection. (Warning: Graphic! - Actual procedure with needle.)
  12. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection Ultrasound Guided for Tennis Elbow
  13. Is There Any Evidence PRP (Or ABI) Is An Effective Therapy?

  14. Later, in three articles (one in 2010 and two in 2011) the New York Times posed the question of whether there was any evidence that Platelet-Rich Plasma Injection Therapy actually worked.
  15. In 2014 Nancy Shute of NPR chimed in, citing Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy's use by high-profile athletes Kobe Bryant, Maria Sharapova, Rafael Nadal and Alex Rodriguez, and reporting that despite the therapy's many fans it remains unproven.
  16. "...just because Sharapova tried it and roared back to win the French Open doesn't mean it works. Thousands of studies have been done on PRP, but doctors say they're still not sure whether it helps with chronic or acute injuries." [Quote from NPR story linked below.]
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