A condition commonly known as “Tennis Elbow”, lateral epicondylitis develops as a result of overuse of the muscles in the forearm. Simple daily activities such as repeated lifting, twisting or gripping can cause inflammation of the tendons and occasionally result in a series of small tears, generating significant pain.
The elbow joint is comprised of three bones joining the upper arm with the lower forearm. This joint is supported by surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments. As the inflammation increases, the pain can become severe and limit daily activities. Traditionally, to combat the pain, patients turn to over-the-counter anti-inflammatories or corticosteroid injections. While these measures may temporarily reduce the pain, they can also slow down the healing process. As the body’s ability to heal the area becomes inhibited, the inflammation can no longer be reduced, resulting in chronic elbow pain.
New regenerative treatments use a patient’s biological material to heal lateral epicondylitis. A recent study has found that patients suffering from elbow pain reported a significantly larger improvement in pain following a PRP injection, as opposed to a cortisone injection. Following the Regenexx PRP protocol, whole blood is drawn from the patient and isolated in the onsite lab; removing all of the contaminating red and white cells. From there, the platelets are concentrated and injected into the joint where the growth factors attract repair cells to the site of injury and start the healing process. Usually, within 2-3 sessions, patients experience an improvement in pain and function. Patients are able to return to normal activity without undergoing invasive surgery.