PRP for TE

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Robbnc, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. Robbnc

    Robbnc Rookie

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    I had my Platelet Rich Plasma treament on Wednesday and it was pretty
    much as I expected.

    The Doc drew a fairly small amount of blood from my left arm and gave it to
    the assistant to process, which took about 15 minutes. What was left was
    maybe 1 cc of concentrated platelet. After numbing my wrist and elbow with
    some lydocaine the procedure began. Using 2" long (but small dia.) needle
    the Doc started with my elbow. I only looked once or twice so its kinda hard
    to tell how many times he stuck me but it was a lot. I guess 25 or 30 . But
    with some of that he just partially withdrew the needle and moved it around,
    tracking down the tendon. I could feel my wrist swelling from the elbow
    injections! But appearantly that was normal. This took about 3 minutes but
    seemed much longer. I didn't really feel pain just uncomfortable as that long
    needle plunged deep into the elbow.

    Nest came the wrist and this was no fun. For this the Doc used a floroscope
    to guide the injection. I could see the moniter and saw the needle move in
    and out between all those wrist bones, pretty graphic. The wrist was done
    in another 2 or 3 minutes and it was all over.

    The Doc told me I would be cussing him on the way home and he was right.
    It hurt. A lot. My arm was swollen, throbbing and felt like it weighed 50 pounds. I couldn't lift it.

    Needless to say I found my way to the first drug store and got my presc. for
    hydrocodone filled. In another 45 minutes or so I was ok.

    When the first pill wore off the pain wasn't nearly as bad, so I waited until
    bedtime to take another. Today, Thursday the pain is pretty much gone but
    my arm is very stiff. I haven't needed anymore pills.

    As far as effectiveness on TE, we will just have to wait and see. The Doc
    says it will be in the 3rd week or so to get any idea how much progress has
    been made, but he expects good results. He's pretty sure one treatment
    will fix the elbow but the wrist is just wait and see. He also told me to
    lay off the racquet for one month if I wanted max benifet from the procedure.

    Sometime around week 3 I will begin light stretching and very light dumbells.
    This seems to be a little on he conservative side according to what I have
    read but I would rather err that way then rush it. The Doc had already done
    4 PRP's before I got there Wed at 11am.

    I'll update as needed, and hopefully this will turn out to be an effective CURE
    for TE. And in case someone hasn't read my other posts , Yes I have tried almost every treatment you ever saw listed on the forum. They didn't work.
     
    #1
  2. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    Keep us posted.

    One question: Is this procedure covered by insurance? If not, mind sharing with us how much it costs?
     
    #2
  3. zacinnc78

    zacinnc78 Professional

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    thanks robb
     
    #3
  4. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    Ouchee'! Good luck with that. Was Dr. Marquis de Sade grinning wildly the whole time he was injecting you? :)

    -Robert
     
    #4
  5. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Can't wait to hear the results. BTW, 25 - 30 injections of a total of 1cc sounds interesting. 1/30 of a cc is pretty darn small, probably much smaller than the amount of serum that was left in the barrel of the needle.
     
    #5
  6. Robbnc

    Robbnc Rookie

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    The insurance lady at the doctors office told me that most insurance has
    paid for this procedure. My insurance pre-approved it but I have no idea
    how much they will end up paying. I also have supplemental ins which should
    pay some too. The cost for one treatment is around $ 1000. There are some
    clinics around the country that specialize in this where you can get an
    elbow done for $ 500- $600, but none were close enough to me. Its probably
    gonna end up costing me some but I'd rather make a few payments then
    miss tennis all summer, if it works.

    Zac, this Doc is in Huntersville if you're ever interested, I didn't know what
    part of the state you were from.

    The one cc was just an estimate, I have little medical knowledge and I am
    not familiar with syringes. But the amount given at any one point IS very ,
    very small. He barely moved the plunger.

    Today, 2 days post procedure I have no pain just stiffness left and that seems to be working out pretty fast.
     
    #6
  7. Edberg_Fan

    Edberg_Fan New User

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    Robbnc - Best of luck in your post treatment recovery!

    Can you tell us your TE situation before the procedure. How long did you have TE, how intense (could you play), what you thought caused it?, have you tried other things, how old are you... etc..

    Thank!
     
    #7
  8. rosewall4ever

    rosewall4ever Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for sharing...err 'nice' to to how it works when we tennis nuts are likely to share the experience in the future..;)

    Good luck in your recovery!
     
    #8
  9. zacinnc78

    zacinnc78 Professional

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    how u feelin robb?
     
    #9
  10. Robbnc

    Robbnc Rookie

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    I've had wrist and TE a little over 3 months. It started with the wrist, the TE
    came on one day when I wore a wrist brace to play for the first and only time, it only took 2 sets to get TE. I went from a perfectly fine elbow to full
    blown TE in 2 sets!

    Prior to PRP I tried rest, ice, heat, anti-inflams, rehab, active release therapy,
    graston therapy and laser .

    Today , 4 days after the procedure I am still a little tight in the forearm but
    less than yesterday. I HAVE NO PAIN IN MY ELBOW! What would happen if I
    picked up a racquet I don't know, but I'm not gonna do that.
    My wrist feels strong but I do get an occasional phantom pain that comes out
    of nowhere , last for maybe half a second and then is gone. This usually happens when I'm not even moving it. No big deal. And also the doc is not sure that I don't have a cyst in my wrist that will still have to be dealt with.

    From what I've read this initial pain relief is mostly from fresh blood being
    attracted to the injury sites. It will still be 2 more weeks or so when I start
    working these areas to really see how they hold up now, but for now all looks
    good.

    Oh, I am 52 and prior to this injury I was playing at least 3 or 4 day a week,
    including a couple long sessions on my ball machine plus a couple hundred
    serves. I had kept this up for about a year and a half with no problem at all.
    I had played with a K95 and then a Aero Pro Drive, but my problem with the
    wrist started almost immediatly when I got a Pure Drive 107, ( very stiff)

    Ironically, I was playing much better with the 107. When I come back I'm
    looking at either a Volkl C10 Pro or Microgel Radical OS.
     
    #10
  11. zacinnc78

    zacinnc78 Professional

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    sounds good man i hope u can get back 2 it quick....on a side note,i really dont feel like ice and anti- imflammatories are the answer to this problem ,but more an initial rest >stretching/massage>strengthen>ease back into tennis with the right quipment.....just my opinion from my experience
    were u using poly?
     
    #11
  12. Robbnc

    Robbnc Rookie

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    I was using a poly/gut hybrid. I only tried full poly one time for about 20
    minutes and then cut it out of the frame, way too harsh for me.

    Most of the current thought on TE is that it is not an inflammation at all but
    a degenerative process. Not only do ice and anti-inflams not help, they may
    actually interfere with the healing process. The worst of course being
    cortisone. I think many cases of TE can be overcome with time away from
    tennis and rehab, I had a case in my 20's and it basically forced me out of
    tennis for years. Only after I was married and bored did I remember I once
    played the game and started back playing. By this time my elbow was fine.

    On the other hand 2 guys I know have been fighting tennis elbow for 3 or
    4 YEARS! They wear elbow braces, constantly take anti-inflams and ice after
    playing. But they haven't got any better.

    Of all the things I tried before PRP I think Active Release and Graston Therapy
    are beneficial. They may even cure some milder cases. Even if the PRP cures
    my TE I will probably still go back every few months for ART and GT, it does
    relax your arm.

    PRP is the only biologic treatment available so to me it was worth a try, I just
    can't bear the thought of sitting out for many months. Anyways, update for
    today 6 days post procedure: minor stiffness remains in forearm (less than
    yesterday) minor discomfort ( not pain) in wrist when flexing, elbow will
    lockout now with a little assistance and shows no pain when doing so.

    I was told 2 weeks to get back to baseline pain, I have to believe I'm way
    ahead of that.
     
    #12
  13. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Don't confuse injury with pain. They can be two very different things...
     
    #13
  14. Robbnc

    Robbnc Rookie

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    Just an update, today 2 weeks post procedure I have no pain in my elbow
    at all. My wrist has a minor twinge at full extension but it goes away with
    repeated stretching.

    I still have a small amount of forearm stiffness first thing in the morning but
    that usually resolves itself in the shower.

    Keep in mind I'm shouldn't be seeing maximum improvement for another week
    or two.
     
    #14
  15. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    Keep us all posted. Thanks again.
     
    #15
  16. Robbnc

    Robbnc Rookie

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    Update for the week. Today, exactly 3 weeks post procedure I have no
    pain in my elbow OR wrist. Very slight stiff feeling upon waking and that's
    it.

    Trying hard to resist temptation to pick up a racquet. I have a follow up
    visit with the doc next Wed. 4 weeks post op. Hopefully I'll be clear to
    play.
     
    #16
  17. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Keep the updates coming
     
    #17
  18. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Don't you think it would be wise to take at least 2-3 months completely off from any tennis while at the same time stretching and strengthening the muscles and tendons in your wrist and forearm?
     
    #18
  19. Robbnc

    Robbnc Rookie

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    I'm sure the doc is gonna want me to rehab a little before I play tennis, and
    I will do that, but 2-3 months? I could have managed that without the
    procedure.
     
    #19
  20. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    #20
  21. Robbnc

    Robbnc Rookie

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    I went for my one month follow up visit today and the doc gave me the
    ok to resume tennis on a limited basis. I can start working with light
    dumbells and hit every other day or so.

    I am supposed to go easy, no hard hitting or matches, progressing to
    heavier weights and harder hitting for each of the next 4 weeks. At that
    point if I'm satisfied then fine if not then one more treatment might be
    in order.

    Right now I only have a little stiffness in my forearm, and I'm told this is
    normal but should work out through the weights and tennis.
     
    #21
  22. Robbnc

    Robbnc Rookie

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    Just checking in 5 weeks and one day after the procedure. I hit for about
    an hour 3 times this week and it was absolutely pain free! There was minor
    stiffness in my forearm muscles the next morning but it goes away once
    I start moving. I also lifted weights 3 times this week.

    I plan on maybe playing a set or two this weekend.

    I won't continue this thread unless anyone has questions but just so everyone
    knows I went from severe wrist pain and TE to playing absolutely pain free
    in 5 weeks. I have to believe this is the best thing going for TE.
     
    #22
  23. siata94

    siata94 Rookie

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    Thanks for the updates. Just got my first bout w/ TE and have laid off hitting for 3 difficult weeks. Pls keep us posted w/ your progress. Hope you're cured for good. Which racket/tension are you using?
     
    #23
  24. Robbnc

    Robbnc Rookie

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    I WAS using a Babolat PD 107 strung at 60 with gut.

    Now using Microgel Radical OS strung at 58 with gut.
     
    #24
  25. zacinnc78

    zacinnc78 Professional

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    keep us updated from time to time robb ...man glad ur conquering yours :) btw does that clinic have a website?
     
    #25
  26. mhldex

    mhldex New User

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    Hi

    For me, I have been suffering from TE for 2 1/2 years by now and have gotten 2 cortisone shots.

    I then had 2 PRP injections twice 6 mths apart a year after my second cortisone jab.

    But sad to say the PRP did nothing for me. Till today, my elbow still feels a dull ache when I grip the racket with my arm straightened.

    So bottom line is PRP does not work for everyone.........
     
    #26
  27. Robbnc

    Robbnc Rookie

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    He's listed on the web under prolotherapy doctors but I don't know of a
    website. He's in Huntersville, if you need his number let me know.
     
    #27
  28. Robbnc

    Robbnc Rookie

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    Sorry to hear that, no medical procedure is 100%. A lot of factors to consider, severity of injury, skill of doctor, and one's own ability to heal.
    If all you are feeling is a dull ache you might want to consider one more
    round of PRP. My doc told me most elbows respond within 1-2 injections,
    but other body parts have taken several more. There's always going to
    be exceptions but the only formal study I found showed that 93% were
    satisfied with PRP for TE.

    If my arm hurt for a year and nothing else worked I wouldn't hesitate to
    go for surgery.
     
    #28
  29. mhldex

    mhldex New User

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    Well I guess PRP works better if you've not gotten cortisone jabs before. Somehow the cortisone has done some irreparable damage to my elbow tendons.

    Not too sure about surgery though as I've heard so many stories that once you go under the knife, you may never get back the same mobility in your elbow. Anyone here has any success stories to share on elbow surgery? I would definitely feel more encouraged to undergo surgery if chances of playing pain free after surgery is good.

    Otherwise, I guess I'll sit out for another year without tennis and see if my elbow pain will miraculously disappear........
     
    #29
  30. Robbnc

    Robbnc Rookie

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    Just an update at 6 weeks post procedure. I am now hitting and serving as
    hard as I am capable of and remain 100 % pain free.

    Next morning stiffness is almost negligible.
     
    #30
  31. zacinnc78

    zacinnc78 Professional

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    awesome robb ! if u can go a cpl months without pain id like to know about it and how much did the procedure cost u b4 and after insurance if u dont mind me asking
     
    #31
  32. Robbnc

    Robbnc Rookie

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    I think the doc billed the insurance $1080. I don't know what the final
    bill to me will be because I am still dealing with the insurance company.

    I have Wellpath which is the sorriest insurance on the planet, but I knew that
    going in. The insurance lady at the docs office said they have never had a
    problem getting any insurance to pay Except Wellpath. Even if I have to give
    the doc $100 a month to pay off the balance it would be worth it.
     
    #32
  33. saram

    saram Legend

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    Very glad to hear that you are feeling well. Congrats. Read about this procedure in Tennis Magazine a while back--glad to hear it is an option/solution for some.
     
    #33
  34. jhp49

    jhp49 Rookie

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    Robbnc,

    Glad you are doing so well. I've been watching your thread to evaluate your success. I have a doubles partner who needs the procedure but he can't find anyone in GA offering the procedure. Can you email me the name of your clinic and doctor in Huntsville?

    Email - jhpowell@metacrawler.com

    Thanks

    JHP
     
    #34
  35. Robbnc

    Robbnc Rookie

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    http://getprolo.com/


    I sent you an email. You might do a search at the above address, a lot of
    docs who were doing prolotherapy are starting to do PRP. There are bound
    to be docs in Atlanta doing this procedure.
     
    #35
  36. jon44

    jon44 New User

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    I was really intrigued by the idea of PRP until the link to prolotherapy came up. Prolo seems very fringe and orthopedists I've seen who are very open to alternative therapies such as shockwave (which worked great for me) think prolotherapy is quackery...

    Are there any decent studies yet on PRP?
     
    #36
  37. Robbnc

    Robbnc Rookie

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    Maybe they are not as open as you think. My doc is an orthopedic surgeon
    specializing in sports medicine and he does both PRP and prolo. I have seen
    more than a few docs who discourage anything that would keep them out
    of the operating room and the big $$$$$.

    There are studies out and more major studies are underway nationwide.
    Just do a search for " prp tennis elbow "
     
    #37
  38. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

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    A guy I hit with had this procedure done to help him with patellar tendonitis and he's ecstatic with the results.
     
    #38

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