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Blood Spinning Does Help: Study Shows
The results of a controlled trial with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) versus corticosteroid injection for the treatment of lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) , revealed a more positive effect with PRP therapy than the corticosteroid group.
The study results were reported in The American Journal of Sports Medicine, in its February 2010 issue. The study was conducted at two teaching hospitals in the Netherlands utilizing 100 study patients suffering with chronic lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow). After one year, more study patients who had received the PRP had better outcomes, than those patients who had only received corticosteroid injections. The corticosteroid group was better initially and then declined, whereas the PRP group progressively improved.
This trial adds clinical evidence that platelet-rich plasma has a more beneficial effect in long-term treatment for tennis elbow – a common musculoskeletal injury.
Dennis Lox, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor in the Tampa Bay area since 1990, has found similar results in the patients he has provided PRP therapy to for various conditions, including ankle, knee, hip, elbow, shoulder, and even spinal disorders.
“PRP is a wonderful therapy and my patients who have had it have had excellent results – decreases in joint and arthritic pain, healing of chronic injuries, and avoidance of joint replacement surgery,” says Lox.
“This study is important because it adds clinical-trial evidence that platelet-rich plasma is beneficial. Although PRP has been in use since the 1990s by vets, dentists and in surgery, because few controlled clinical trials have been conducted, its benefit has been questioned. This (the study) adds to the anecdotal evidence I have witnessed,” added Lox.
Sometimes referred to as ‘blood spinning,’ in platelet-rich plasma therapy, a patient’s blood is drawn and centrifuged. This concentrates the blood platelets, which contain powerful growth factors that stimulate tissues to heal at a faster rate, and can also help regenerate joints and tissues. The concentrated platelet-rich plasma is drawn off and then injected directly into the affected tissue or joint. Many tissues surrounding a joint, such as tendons and ligaments, only have a small, natural blood supply with which to heal themselves. PRP injected into these areas can greatly improve healing in these tissues.
According to Lox, combining platelet-rich plasma with adipose-derived stem cells has even more potential for healing a chronically injured area.
PRP therapy is growing in acceptance and use due in great part to the media attention given to high-profile athletes, such as Tiger Woods, Alex Rodriguez, Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu, who have received the procedure. As medical technology advances, in order to heal their wounds and regenerate their joints, more patients are opting for the cutting-edge treatments that professional athletes are receiving and leading the way in, especially if it means they might avoid surgery.
An abstract of the study is available at http://ajs.sagepub.com/
If you have any questions or would like to interview Dennis Lox, M.D., please contact Steven Haag at (727) 462-9043 or email at info@DrLox.com
About Dennis Lox, M.D.
Dr. Dennis Lox is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and is referred to as a physiatrist. In 1990, Dr. Lox founded the Florida Spine Center in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. There, he has cared for thousands of patients, supported by his passion to relieve acute and chronic pain utilizing a sports medicine approach. Dr. Lox continues to practice state-of-the-
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Dennis M. Lox, MD is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Since 1990, he has used sports medicine techiques and cutting-edge technology to help heal musculoskeletal injuries and relieve pain.