Autologous Blood Injections

Autologous Blood Injections

plateletsAs I am having this therapy I thought I would write a brief article explaining what it is and in my case what it is used for.

Tendinopathy is a condition affecting the tendons, the connective tissue that connects muscle to bone.  It can cause pain, stiffness and weakness and can become chronic as in my case.

The main treatment is progressive eccentric strengthening but recently autogous blood injection has been used to assist in healing.  The idea is the blood contains growth factors and other substances which promote the healing response.  It is used when a tendon has failed to heal using the traditional methods.  What they are trying to do is artificially create a response that would normally happen at an acute injury site, in an attempt to stimulate tendon healing.

Autologous Blood injection (ABI) is a procedure where your own blood is taken and then re-injected into the area requiring treatment.  In its simplest form the blood is taking and injected without any further processing but it can be spun down in a centrifuge to a more pure form of platelet rich plasma (PRP).

What was involved?

In my case it is the hamstring tendon that is damaged, but the process would be similar for any other tendon.  Ultrasound was used to identify the exact area that needed treatment.  Local anaesthetic was injected into the area using a sterile technique.

Then blood was taken from a vein in my arm, around 5mls, and injected, under ultra sound guidance into the buttock.  I have to say it was not a pleasant experience and the second of three.

Once completed, I was advised to take things easy and to take simple pain relief – Panadol or Panadol forte, neither of which I required.  I was not to take any anti-inflammatory medication as these could inhibit the healing process.

What Next?

I need to take it easy for a week then start rehabilitation, which is a progressive eccentric strengthening program. I will cover this in another article but I will also be covering this topic in greater depth in my book on common running injuries.


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