New Treatment Eases Discomfort Of Tendonitis

WCBS—New York—August 4, 2008

Tendonitis can affect anyone who overdoes it on a range of everyday activities: from their tennis swing to gardening to even typing on a keyboard. The condition causes achy, painful joints and can normally be relieved by at-home care such as ice packs and ibuprofen.

But sometimes the condition is severe enough that it needs further treatment. When that is the case, doctors are hopeful about a new treatment that has shown to be highly successful.

After drawing a small tube of blood, Brian Halpern, M.D., of Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, spins the blood in a centrifuge. The centrifuge causes the cloudy plasma to settle at the top, after which he can draw the plasma into a syringe. Plasma is rich in platelets, the key factor in this treatment.

"They help generate blood flow, they help generate healing," Halpern said. "And [we] try reconstitute the healing environment and, in turn, settle your pain, maybe reconstitute part of the tendon."

Dr. Halpern then injects the plasma straight into the affected area. The results have been very successful thus far.

"Well, we've done over 20 cases so far in the last year," Halpern said. "So far…90 to 100 percent less pain, more function."

Most patients appear to recover full use of the injured area just one month after the injection.

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