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Researchers use patient's own blood to treat hamstring injury
Date:11/30/2010

CHICAGO Researchers in London say they have found an effective two-part treatment for microtears in the hamstring: injections of the patient's own blood and a steroid along with "dry-needling," in which repeated needle punctures cause controlled internal bleeding in the injured area. Results of the study were presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

"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 autolo
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Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

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