Tendon injuries are most commonly treated by physical therapy and anti-inflammatories. The most frequent clinical uses are for plantar fasciitis (heel), achilles (ankle), patella (knee), gluteals (hip) and elbow common extensor origin (tennis elbow) and common flexor origin tendon (golfer's elbow). We now have a newer modality of treatment using your own blood products: Autologous Blood Injection and Plasma Rich Platelet Injection.
Blood contains many nutrients and substances which are thought to promote healing. Platelets contain many growth factors, in particular PDGF (Platelet Derived Growth Factor) which has been shown to promote healing of many tissues, including bone, teeth, skin and the tissue lining our eyes. PDGF also promotes the healing of tendons.
If you suffer from tendinosis it is most important that the correct diagnosis is made. This usually involves an ultrasound and/or an MRI. Following diagnosis, the initial line of treatment is to undergo a period of rehabilitation for 6 weeks under the supervision of a Physiotherapist or Sports Doctor. If pain persists, you may be a candidate for an ABI or PRP injection.
The Autologous Blood Injection procedure will take approximately 5 minutes and involves the use of an ultrasound to guide the needle safely into the correct location. The skin is first cleansed and prepared and local anaesthetic injected into the skin overlying the tendon. Blood is then injected directly into the tendon. The amount of blood injected depends on the size of the tendon.
A Platelet Rich Plasma injection is similar to the Autologous Blood Injection, but a larger amount of blood is used, it is placed in a tube and spun many thousands of times for a period of 15 minutes. During this time the cells in the blood separate from the fluid component into the three main cells types: red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. The platelets are then selectively removed. By doing this, a greater concentration of platelets is delivered into the damaged tissue.
As with all medical procedures, there are some risks associated with ABI and PRP injections. The main complication is a skin infection which can be treated with antibiotics.
If you wish to explore this treatment regime, please arrange an appointment to see one of our Sports Doctors. Together you can decide if this procedure would suit your injury and if appropriate, refer you to a radiology clinic for the procedure to be conducted.
Please phone 9650 9372 for an appointment or book online.