"By injecting the patient's own blood where it is needed at the site of a damaged tendon, we help the patient heal themselves," said lead researcher Waseem A. Bashir, M.D., a radiologist at Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and Ealing Hospital in London. "Blood contains many growth factors, and the injections have been shown to promote faster healing of certain injuries."
Hamstring tendinopathy is a common sports injury that occurs in soccer, gymnastics, karate or any sport that requires quick acceleration. It may be caused by an improper warm-up or, in an elite athlete, as the result of repetitive strain. Unlike a torn or ruptured tendon that can be surgically repaired, the tiny microtears that characterize chronic tendinopathy are not easily diagnosed, are difficult to heal and often sideline athletes for long periods, if not permanently.
"Patients with hamstring tendinopathy will experience pain walking or climbing stairs and even while sitting or riding in a car," Dr. Bashir said. "The condition is literally a pain in the butt."
In the study, 42 patients with suspected hamstring microtearing underwent ultrasound and MRI to confirm the tendinopathy and then were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups. The first group received an injection of both a long-lasting anesthetic and steroid on the surface of the tendon, as well as the dry-needling procedure at the site of microtears.
The second group received an injection of the anesthetic along with two to three milliliters of their own blood, called an autologous blood injection (ABI), and dry-needling. The third group received a local anesthetic, a steroid and ABI along with dry-needling.
"The injections were all performed with ultrasound and color Doppler, which allows us to watch in real-time where the needle is going," Dr. Bashir said. "During the dry-needling, we can see blood flow increase in the area."
Following their treatments, all patients in the study participated in a structured six-week physiotherapy program. The patients were then evaluated at various intervals over a one-year period to assess their levels of pain and functioning.
Patients treated solely with an injection of a steroid and dry-needling reported improved functionality for only three to 12 weeks after treatment. A year later, patients in this group reported being at pre-treatment levels of pain and functionality. Patients who received their own blood plus dry-needling reported significant improvements in functionality even one year after the treatment.
Patients who received both their own blood and a steroid along with dry-needling at the site of tendon damage experienced the most significant reduction in pain levels and the most sustained functional improvement one year following treatment.
"Ultrasound-guided ABI in the hamstring, in combination with a local steroid and dry-needling, appears to be a more clinically effective alternative to the current standard, steroid therapy," Dr. Bashir said. "A few of our soccer-playing patients had been told their condition was untreatable and they had basically given up all hope of playing again. They were amazed to be able to play again after our treatment and physical therapy."
He added that ABI therapy has also been an effective treatment for microtears in other tendons, including the elbow, the patellar tendon and those in the rotator cuff within the shoulder.
Dr. Bashir's coauthor is David A. Connell, M.D.
Note: Copies of RSNA 2010 news releases and electronic images will be available online at RSNA.org/press10 beginning Monday, Nov. 29.
RSNA is an association of more than 46,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists committed to excellence in patient care through education and research. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (RSNA.org)
Editor's note: The data in these releases may differ from those in the published abstract and those actually presented at the meeting, as researchers continue to update their data right up until the meeting. To ensure you are using the most up-to-date information, please call the RSNA Newsroom at 1-312-949-3233.
For patient‑friendly information on MRI and ultrasound, visit RadiologyInfo.org
Linda Brooks | EurekAlert!
Electrical 'switch' in brain's capillary network monitors activity and controls blood flow
27.03.2017 | Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont
Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences