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Orthopedics. 2011 Jan 1;34(2):92. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20101221-05.

Platelet-rich plasma injection reduces pain in patients with recalcitrant epicondylitis.

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  • 1UHZ Sports Medicine Institute, Doctors Hospital, Baptist Health South Florida, Coral Gables, Florida 33146, USA.


Thirty patients (31 elbows) with epicondylitis unresponsive to nonsurgical treatment (including steroid injection) for >6 months received a single treatment of platelet-rich plasma injected with a peppering technique. Patients were followed using a 5-subcategory visual analog scale (VAS) for pain (0, no pain; 10, worst possible pain), modified American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons assessment survey, and VAS for patient satisfaction (0, not at all satisfied; 10, very satisfied). Successful treatment was defined as a 25% decrease in worst pain at follow-up with no intervention after 1 year. Two patients (2 elbows) elected for surgery 1 month postinjection. Of the remaining 29 elbows followed, 28 had a 25% reduction in worst pain at ≥1 follow-up visits, for an overall success rate of 90% (28 of 31 elbows). Mean scores for worst pain at baseline, 3 months, and last follow-up (patients with at least 6 months of follow-up; 25±14 months) were 7.2±1.6 (n=30 elbows), 4.0±2.2 (n=23), and 1.1±1.7 (n=26), respectively (P<.01 or less comparing follow-up scores to baseline using each patient as his or her own control). Patient satisfaction scores improved from 5.1±2.5 at 1 month to 9.1±1.9 at last follow-up (P<.01). Only 1 patient reported no improvement after 6 months. Results suggest that a single platelet-rich plasma injection can improve pain and function scores, thus avoiding surgery.

Copyright 2011, SLACK Incorporated.

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