Stemcelldoc's Weblog

February 4, 2009

Lateral Epicondylitis

Lateral epicondylitis otherwise known as tennis elbow is a overuse injury involving the extensor muscles that originate on the bony prominence (epicondyle) on the outside (lateral) aspect of the elbow.  It is more properly termed a tendinosis that specifically involves the origin of the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle.  Nirschl and Pettrone attributed the cause of lateral epicondylitis to be tearing in the origin of the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) muscle.


The extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) muscle originates from the lateral epicondyle. It functions to move the wrist so that the hand moves away from the palm and towards the thumb.

Many patients with tennis elbow are involved in work or recreational activities that require repetitive use of the forearm muscle. Pain can be  severe and burning  localized on the outside part of the elbow.   In most cases the pain starts slowly and escalates over weeks or months.

Conservative therapy includes limiting repetitive use of the forearm.  Orthotics can only help diminish symptoms of tennis elbow.lateral-epicondyle-brace1

These can reduce symptoms by resting the muscles and tendons.  The surgical procedure involves removing diseased tendon tissue and reattaching normal tendon tissue to bone.


Alternative therapies include prolotherapy, platelet-rich plasma and stem cell therapy.  At Regenexx patients are able to use their own stem cells to regenerate torn ligaments and tendons.

January 20, 2009

Tendon Tears and Treatment Options

Tendons are fibrous tissue that attaches muscles to bone.  A strain is an injury of a muscle and or tendon.  In severe strains, the muscle and or tendon are partially or completely ruptured .  A common example is a tear in the rotator cuff.  The rotator cuff is comprised of four principal muscles which stabilize the shoulder joint:   supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis.


What causes strains?   Strains can result from overuse of muscles and tendons, excessive muscle contraction or trauma.  Medications can also cause tendon damage.  Cholesterol lowering medications  called statins have been linked with tendinitis.  Common statins include Lipitor, Lovastatin and Simvastatin(Zocor).

Antibiotics are also been associated with tendon injury. The FDA has issued an warning for those using Fluoroquinolones which include Cipro, Factive, Floxina and Levaquin which have been associated with tendonitis and tendon tears.

If you have sustained tendon tears as a result of medication or trauma,  surgery is not the only alternative.   Regenexx is a novel therapy that utilizes a patients own stem cells to repair damaged tendons.  It is a simple needle-in, needle-out procedure that allows the patients to avoid the risks of surgery and anesthesia.

Please review the testimonial of a patient who had rotator cuff tears in both of her shoulders, who underwent surgery on one side and opted to treat her other tear with stem cell therapy at Regenexx.




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