Are there any new treatments for tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is a painful condition at the outer part of the elbow known as the lateral epicondyle. A large group of muscles in the forearm has a common anchor to this area called the common extensor tendon. This tendon loses its normal healthy structure and becomes either swollen (tendinosis) or degenerated (tendinopathy). Common treatments are bracing, physical therapy, and steroid (cortisone) injections.
Multiple high quality research studies show that a new type of treatment called platelet-rich plasma was superior to steroid injections for tennis elbow. Platelet-rich plasma uses the patient’s own blood to help heal the degenerated tendon. A small amount of blood is drawn in the office and spun in a centrifuge for about 20 minutes. Much of the plasma and red blood cells are removed and predominance of platelets and associated growth factors remain. After numbing the region, this concentrate of the patients own growth factors is injected directly into the effected part of the tendon usually under ultrasound guidance to ensure perfect accuracy.
The physicians at Jordan-Young are very experienced in using platelet-rich plasma for tennis elbow as well a variety of other conditions. Many of our patients have had excellent success with this new treatment.