What is Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is a condition caused by inflammation of the tendons on the outer bony prominence (lateral epicondyle) of the elbow. Certain repetitive movements of the wrist can cause this condition. Tennis elbow can occur in anyone who strains the tendons of the forearm and is not limited to tennis players.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) may be an effective treatment for tennis elbow. PRP is blood plasma with concentrated platelets and other growth factors. The concentrated platelets found in PRP contain huge reservoirs of bioactive proteins, including growth factors and signaling proteins that are vital to initiate and accelerate tissue repair and regeneration. These growth factors number at least a dozen different factors. These bioactive proteins initiate connective tissue healing in tissues bone and articular cartilage regeneration and repair, promote development of new blood vessels, and stimulate the wound healing process. The PRP signals the body to send in stem cells to repair the area of injury. PRP injections are commonly done under fluoroscopic guidance (live x-ray). This is done for precise localized delivery of these healing factors into injured ligaments, muscles, and joints.

To prepare PRP, a small amount of blood is taken from the patient’s arm. The blood is then placed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins and separates the platelets form the rest of the blood components. The entire process takes less than 15 minutes and increases the concentration of platelets and growth factors up to 600%. Using the patient’s own blood, specially prepared platelets are taken and re-injected into the affected area. These platelets release special growth factors that lead to tissue healing. By using the concentrated platelets, we increase the growth factors up to eight times which promotes relief and stops inflammation. PRP injections actually heal the area over a period of time. This can be anywhere from one to three months.

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