Treatment of tendinopathy: is there a role for autologous whole blood and platelet rich plasma injection?

R J Kampa, D A Connell
International Journal of Clinical Practice 2010, 64 (13): 1813-23

BACKGROUND: Chronic tendinopathies are a common source of disability and can be recalcitrant to conservative measures, which once exhausted may necessitate operative intervention. Blood and platelets, in particular, are a rich source of factors necessary for tissue healing. Autologous blood injections (ABI) are thought to promote tendon healing, but have been explored clinically in only a few limited studies. However, recently they have attracted media attention in relation to the world of professional athletes and sports-related injuries.

METHOD: We review the evidence base for this technique using the available literature on PubMed.

CONCLUSION: Refractory chronic tendinopathy may be responsive to ABIs, but the data available to date are limited by quality and size of study, as well as length of follow up, and are currently insufficient to recommend this modality for routine clinical use.

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