Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Elbow FAQ

Question:

I've had several steroid injections into my elbow for tendonitis. The next step is to try blood injections. If steroids didn't work, why will blood make a difference?

Answer:

The answer to this question isn't certain yet. In the early 1990s, researchers found that tennis elbow isn't an inflammatory condition after all. Scientists looked at the tendon tissue under a microscope. Instead of inflammatory cells, they found damaged tendon cells that just couldn’t finish the healing process. Steroids work to reduce inflammation, but they can also weaken the collagen structure of the tissue. Blood injections have been shown to heal, not weaken, areas of tendon damage. Chemicals in the blood set up a series of healing steps. Injecting the blood directly to the area is a new treatment idea. Scott G. Edwards, MD, and James H. Calandruccio, MD. Autologous Blood Injections for Refractory Lateral Epicondylitis. In The Journal of Hand Surgery. March 2003. Vol. 28A. No. 2. Pp. 272-278.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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