Autologous blood injection technique in the treatment of refractory lateral elbow tendinopathy

M. A. Q. Ansari, M. Nayeemuddin, M. M. Farhan


Background: Lateral elbow tendinopathy is a very common clinical condition whose management by the consultant often shifts from one to another modality. This study was conducted to know the efficacy of a minimally invasive technique of autologous blood injection in patients who were resistant to more conservative methods.

Methods: This is a randomized prospective study of forty-eight patients (median age, 37 to 40 years), presenting with lateral elbow symptoms for a duration of more than six weeks and failed to respond to other methods of conservative treatment. Patients were consecutively grouped into treatment with autologous blood injections (Group I, n = 24) and control group with injection of normal saline (Group II, n = 24). 1 ml of autologous blood was drawn from dorsal venous arch and injected into the site of maximum tenderness over lateral aspect of the elbow under all aseptic precautions for all patients in group I. Similarly 1 ml of normal saline was injected at the site of maximum tenderness for patients in group II.  Results were evaluated based on severity of the elbow complaints, tenderness and Cozen’s test at the end of follow-up of twenty weeks.

Results: The incidence of this condition was more in the third decade 39.6% (n=19), with female preponderance 58.3% (n=28) and the dominant arm being more commonly involved 58.3% (n=28). Excellent results were found in group I in n=15 (62.5%) whereas poor results were more in group II in n=14 (58.3%). Group I had poor result only in n=03 (12.5%) of patients who later were given another dose of autologous blood or were treated surgically.

Conclusions: Injection of autologous blood is a very efficacious minimally invasive procedure with satisfactory results in patients of lateral elbow tendinopathy who do not respond to other conservative methods of treatment.


Autologous blood injection, Lateral elbow tendinopathy, Elbow pain

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