ABI and PRP injections are indicated in refractory tendonosis or tendon tears and can be used as a therapeutic measure in the following clinical settings
- High performance athletes with avulsion tears at the tendon insertions (most commonly hamstrings and the elbow tendons).
- Chronic overuse injury or multiple micro traumas not responding to conventional management like steroid injections and rehabilitation programmes.
- Chronic Common extensor or flexor tendinosis ( tennis elbow/Golfer’s elbow)
- Chronic supraspinatous tendinosis/ Tear
- Achilles tendonosis and paratenonitis
- Quadriceps and Patellar Tendinosis
Autologous blood injections harness the healing properties of blood. The tendons are relatively avascular, the process of healing in a tendon tear is often delayed. Repetitive injury at the same site leads to poor healing and myxoid degeneration within the tendon. While injections of steroid and local anaesthetic into the tendon along with a rehabilitation programme are a good first line of management, various studies have confirmed that injecting autologous blood under imaging guidance into the tendons stimulates a healing response. Unlike the anti inflammatory effect of steroids, blood initiates an inflammatory response within the tendon leading to accumulation of various growth factors which in turn leads to angiogenesis and repair of the tendon. This procedure takes about 10-15 minutes. Approximately 2cc of patient's blood is aspirated and mixed with a local anaesthetic and injected under ultrasound guidance into the tendon at the site of injury.
Platelet rich Plasma injection takes the same process a step further. As is well known that platelets contain most of the growth factors specifically Plasma derived growth factor (PDGF). If a high concentration of platelets is injected at the site of tendon tear, the healing process further accelerates. In this procedure, 30mls of blood is withdrawn and centrifuged, about 2-3mls of platelet rich plasma is derived from it, this is then mixed with a local anaesthetic and is injected at the site of tear under ultrasound guidance. The whole procedure takes about 30 minutes.
The patients can continue with their rehabilitation programme after 2-3 weeks. The procedure can be repeated after 1- 2 months if required. Please feel free to contact our radiologists if any further information is required.