• Vol. 37 No. 7, 559–563
  • 15 July 2008

Autologous Bone Marrow Plasma Injection after Arthroscopic Debridement for Elbow Tendinosis



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Introduction: The treatment of tendinosis of elbow can be challenging, yet rewarding. Nevertheless, for the patients who failed conservative management and develop persistent recalcitrant symptoms, surgical intervention should be considered. The hypothesis of this study is iliac bone marrow plasma injection after arthroscopic debridement of degenerative tissue will bring along biological cure. Thus, it will not only reduce pain but also improve function in patients with resistant elbow tendonitis.

Materials and Methods: Twenty-four patients (26 elbows) with significant persistent pain for a mean of 15 months, despite of standard rehabilitation protocol and a variety of other nonsurgical modalities were treated arthroscopically. We applied autologous iliac bone marrow plasma injection following arthroscopic debridement. This material is produced by centrifugation of iliac bone marrow blood at 1,800 rpm for 20 to 30 minutes. Patients were allowed full range of motion (ROM) exercise after 2 to 3 days. Cytokine analyses for this injective material were done. Outcome was rated by postoperative sonography, visual analog pain scores (VAS) and Mayo elbow performance scores (MEPS) at 8 weeks and 6 months follow-up. Informed consent had been obtained from the subjects, and the study protocol was approved by the ethics committee of Chosun University Hospital, Korea.

Results: All patients in this study noted improvement both in their VAS and MEPS. No complication occurred in any patient. Evidence of tendon healing was observed in postoperative songraphic examination. Predominant cytokines of this study were interleukin-12 (IL-12), interferon-gamma-inducible protein-10 (IP-10) and RANTES.

Conclusion: Biologic treatments in orthopaedics are just beginning to evolve. In the present investigation, the injection of iliac bone marrow plasma after arthroscopic debridement in severe elbow tendinosis demonstrated early recovery of daily activities and clear improvement.

Elbow tendinosis is a term used to describe a syndrome of pain involving the extensor or flexor tendon origin of the forearm musculature. It is a common problem in adults and it is called “medial” or “lateral epicondylitis” depending on the site of involvement.

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