The SPECIALIST'S OFFICE > Overuse problems of the knee (except Osgood Schlatter's)

Autologous Blood Injections for patella tendonitis/tendonosis

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IanT:
My carefully calibrated rehab programme seems to be going ok. I have now added short spells of jogging to my treadmill sessions, and am more comfortable doing dips than before. Still can't do a one legged dip with my left leg however...

As I seem to be making some progress, I'd be interested to hear from others who have had the autologous blood treatment. How is it going for you?

old_runner:
Does anyone know if this procedure is being used in the United States?

mee:
When I googled it, there was a U.S. study done for the injection to treat tennis elbow.  Here's the link.

http://www.davidlnelson.md/LateralEpicondylitisBloodInjection.htm

It's not a patellar tendon, but it might be worth an email to them to find out if they are aware of anyone trying it out on knees.

IanT:
--- Posted today on a cycling forum ---

I'm feeling rather smugly self satisfied after a nice ride around the Surrey Hills this morning. I did 40 or so miles in about 2hr 40mins, including the hill up to Newlands Corner in both directions - eg on the way out and on the way back. I used my granny ring but managed to stay in the saddle and spin my way up the climb without stopping.

Not impressive for many on here I know, but 9 months ago I thought I'd come to the end of my sporting life at the age of 37. With both knees crippled through Patellar Tendinosis I was barely able to walk. I knew that things had become desperate when I was unable to break into a trot fast enough to catch my 3 year old niece as she ran merrily toward a busy road. On a weekend trip to Venice last July my left knee gave way and buckled under me several times causing to me fall in such pain that passers by thought I was having a heart attack.

By the end of last summer I had lost so much muscle from my left quad that I could encircle my thigh with 2 hands, thumbs and fingers touching. I remember walking around a hosepipe lying flat on the lawn rather than trying to step over it.

In September I joined a clinical trial involving multiple 'autologous blood injections' directly into the fabric of both tendons below the knee cap, repeated over a 2 month period. Yes, this is/was as excruciatingly painful as it sounds! The treatment included a detailed 6 month rehab protocol which - if followed to the letter - gave a small chance of avoiding further injections. No more incentive needed believe me.

At the beginning of November I went back to the gym for the first time in 18 months. My first target was to complete 10 mins on an exercise bike set to minimum resistance. This was not a sure thing! Over time, the program gradually upped the loading on my tendons accompanied with a lot of stretching to cause the (hopefully) regenerating fibres to align themselves effectively and with the appropriate elasticity.

By the end of March I had recovered enough that my gym sessions looked like exercise not rehab, and I had begun to regain some aerobic fitness and lose some of the weight I'd inevitably added.

In April I was told that cycling (spinning not grinding) was a good low impact exercise to help me regain quad condition and fitness. So I went and bought myself a nice bike - Specialized Roubaix Expert Triple - with a granny ring. I hadn't owned / ridden a bike for about 15 years so this was all new to me.

After 6 or 7 weeks of shorter (upto 20m) flattish rides, I decided today to try a longer route and to include the nearest thing to a hill locally - Newlands corner.

Hence I am a slightly self satisified smug thing this morning!

I've posted this because there have been a few posts recently from people taking up cycling to lose weight or to recover from injuries. I thought that my story might offer some encouragement - specifically that real progress is possible within a timescale of months not years if you are determined.

Next goal for me is to complete a century ride by the end of this summer....

djay:
Hi,

Have never looked in this thread as I dont suffer from overuse, I broke my patella and tore the patella tendon in a football tackle back in Dec 05 and havent made the progress I would have liked.

Anyway, I have been referred to a bloke at Parkside and was told they would hopefully do autologous blood injections which are painful but may help strengthen the tendon.  Main problem is the tendon is shorter and thicker since the op.  Dont want to make things worse but anything is worth a try providing I dont end up further back than I am now.

So i searched on here for the word and came to this thread, just wanting a bit of an update from those who have had the before as to whether its worth the pain and money ?

thanks

dan

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