Are Steroid Shots Bad for Tennis Elbow?

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A new study just out this week looked at data from many other studies and showed that steroid (cortisone) shots may actually make tennis elbow worse in the long run. For those of us involved in Regenerative Medicine, this makes sense, as steroid shots severely inhibit healing. In this study, surprisingly platelet rich plasma didn’t perform that well. However, some of this may be due to the big differences between platelet rich plasma (PRP) mixes used by different doctors depending on the type of machine they happen to own. These machines all produce very different types of mixtures, all called PRP. What did work well?  Based on this review, various types of prolotherapy treatment may work. Based on my clinical experience, steroid shots produce short term relief at best and then the pain returns with more severity. Prolotherapy and platelet rich plasma both work well.

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Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

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