Autologous platelet lysate local injections: A new intervention approach for treating refractory lateral epicondylitis
Lateral epicondylitis (LE), commonly known as tennis elbow, is one of the most common enthesopathies in sports medicine. Continuous pain and soreness with incapacity to do day to day activities are the chief symptoms involved. A wide variety of treatments are available which includes rest, stretching, bracing, formal physical therapy, small needle-knife therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, and activity modification.
These treatments can only improve the symptoms but for the intractable and refractory LE, the optimal treatment approach remains controversial.
With recent developments in molecular biology and regenerative medicine, the use of endogenous growth factors has shown favorable results in LE treatment. Various studies have investigated the effects of growth factors; representing benefits like better cellular remodeling and decreased healing time
Recently, a group of investigators have tried to assess the effectiveness and safety of autologous platelet lysate (APL) local injections in pain reduction and function improvement in patients with refractory lateral epicondylitis.
The study included 56 patients with refractory lateral epicondylitis. Three injections in one course of treatment were given to all the patients. Visual analog scale (VAS) pain score and Mayo elbow score at baseline and at 1, 6, and 12 months after injection was assessed. VAS and Mayo scores at baseline and at 1, 6, and 12 months showed considerable differences. There was significant improvement in local symptoms and elbow function with APL injection after 12 months’ follow-up.
The findings from this study suggested local injections of APL as one of the optimal treatment strategies for the treatment of lateral epicondylitis. Further research may focus on exploring the effectiveness of APL in the treatment of lateral epicondylitis.