Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Steroid Injections may Deplete Tendon Stem Cell Pools

Steroid injections are commonly used for a number of musculoskeletal conditions.  There is increasing evidence to suggest this is not a good idea especially for tendon related problems such as tennis elbow or rotator cuff tendinopathy.  Clinical studies only confirm short term pain relief for cortisone injections.  Basic science studies are now revealing that such injections may deplete tendon stems cells pools or increase the risk of tendon rupture.  (See Abstract Below)

Platelet rich plasma has been shown to be superior to cortisone injection in a double blind randomized trial at least for tennis elbow.  When discussing the value of evolving biologic therapies it is crucial to compare them to commonly used treatments.  In the case of cortisone for tendon related injuries and disorders at least for now PRP is the superior choice based on basic science and clinical publications for tennis elbow.  (Gosens et al Study)

Allan Mishra, MD


 2012 Aug 8. 

The effects of dexamethasone on human patellar tendon stem cells: Implications for dexamethasone treatment of tendon injury.



Injection of Dexamethasone (Dex) is commonly used in clinics to treat tendon injury such as tendinopathy because of its anti-inflammatory capabilities. However, serious adverse effects have been reported as a result of Dex treatment, such as impaired tendon healing and tendon rupture...... Dex treatment depletes the stem cell pool and leads to the formation of non-tendinous tissues (e.g., fatty and cartilage-like tissues), which make tendon susceptible to rupture. 

© 2012 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. 
Copyright © 2012 Orthopaedic Research Society.

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