Much like tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow is an overuse injury or condition that affects the tendons and other soft tissues surrounding the elbow joint. Instead of experiencing pain on the outside of the elbow like with tennis elbow, people who suffer from golfer’s elbow tend to experience a dull ache at the bony bump on the inside of the elbow known as the medial epicondyle. Typically, elbow movements are pain-free, but gripping and wrist flexion tasks are the greatest source of pain for people who suffer from this condition. While the condition is most often associated with golf, golfer’s elbow is relatively common outside of the sport, especially in manual trades where repetitive gripping is involved.
The RICE principles of rest, ice, compression, and elevation as well as physical therapy/sports massage are highly effective at managing the pain of golfer’s elbow in the early, acute stages, but when elbow pain and instability persists for months without relief, more aggressive forms of treatment are necessary to relieve pain. Steroid injections were one of the most commonly prescribed treatment methods for golfer’s elbow when self-care methods failed to provide meaningful pain relief. However, a 2013 study published in the Journal of the American medical Association has shown that repeated injections could further damage tendons in the elbow and increase the risk of recurrent pain and the need for surgical intervention .
At ReGenMed, we offer groundbreaking, regenerative modalities like PRP Therapy to heal golfer’s elbow and help our patients avoid surgery altogether. Our chief physician, Dr. Manohar Jethani, is board-certified in emergency medicine, and specializes in regenerative medicine, specifically platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) therapy, to heal at the cellular level. He uses PRP Therapy to heal chronic golfer’s elbow and a range of other musculoskeletal conditions.
Benefits of Using PRP to Treat Golfer’s Elbow
PRP Therapy offers several benefits when used to treat golfer’s elbow, but perhaps the most significant benefit is the preservation of the patient’s own anatomy. Surgical procedures that remove damaged tissue will ultimately alter the elbow’s structure. Surgery could have career ending implications for professional athletes, especially younger athletes, if the procedure does not work. This can significantly impact a patient’s emotional status and quality of life, especially when non-surgical treatment options could have delivered the patient’s desired outcome. Because PRP is injected into the affected area and the patient’s own blood is used as the healing agent, the risk of complications typically associated with surgery are removed from the procedure.
While tendons and other soft tissues can and do heal on their own, albeit slowly, PRP speeds up the recovery process considerably. The procedure can potentially reduce what is typically a six-week injury down to a three-week injury, allowing athletes to resume their respective sport and everyday people to resume their normal work schedules much faster than with other modalities.
Lastly, the treatment process for PRP Therapy is quick, comfortable, and performed right here in our office as an outpatient procedure. During your appointment, Dr. Jethani will draw samples of blood and immediately place those samples in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from other blood components. Once the separation is complete, the PRP concentrate is then injected back into the affected area to initiate permanent healing.