Beat tennis elbow with stem cell injections: Patients are receiving jabs to heal hard-to-treat tendon injuries

By Roger Dobson for the Daily Mail

Published: 18:06 EST, 22 September 2014 | Updated: 18:06 EST, 22 September 2014

Scientists believe stem cells will provide a more effective solution fortendon injuries

Patients are receiving jabs of their own cells in an attempt to heal hard-to-treat tendon injuries, such as tennis elbow.

The treatment, which has previously been used on injured racehorses, uses a patient's stem cells to super-charge the body's natural repair mechanisms.

Millions of Britons suffer tendon injuries. Tendons are the tough bands of tissue that connect muscle to bone. They can become damaged through wear and tear or injury, causing inflammation or tears.

Such damage is notoriously difficult to treat because tendons have a very poor blood supply, so healing compounds cannot reach the injury site. As a result, tough scar tissue often forms around the tendon, significantly hampering movement and flexibility.

Treatments include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), steroid injections and physiotherapy, but experts say they have limited success. Scientists believe stem cells - which have the ability to turn into different types of cells in the body - will provide a more effective solution.

Early-stage laboratory studies, as well as reports from treating racehorses, have shown that, over several weeks, the stem cells encourage the growth of new tendon tissue and reduce scar tissue.

This may be because stem cells can recruit compounds called growth factors that help regenerate damaged tissue.

Originally posted here:
Beat tennis elbow with stem cell injections: Patients are receiving jabs to heal hard-to-treat tendon injuries

Related Post