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Experience with ruptured elbow tendon surgery?
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By Cotton
Sep 26, 2013

MP community -

I had severe bilateral, medial and lateral epicondylitis and was just notified (MRI's) that I have a few tears on my medial and lateral tendons on both elbows, including my left wrist cartilage.

In June, I had the FAST Technique procedure (tenexhealth.com) done on both sides/both elbows and 3 weeks ago had Platelet Rich Plasma shots on both sides/both elbows + the wrist. I've done PT 3-5 times a week since early July.

I'm 10x's better than prior to all of that but I'm still nowhere near being stable/pain-free. If I don't see greater improvement over the next month, I'm going to have to look at surgery. Anyone had experience with the surgery to repair elbow tendon tears? Any insight/advice appreciated. Thanks!

  • Also, I looked into the Regenexx clinic in Boulder/Denver but insurance won't cover it and I'd be looking at $4-8K. Anyone have experience with them?


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By SpokaneBob
Sep 28, 2013

Hi Cotton,

In the mid-1990s I took a leader fall in Yosemite that resulted in a partial tear--medial side--to my right elbow. Surgery was recommended, but I chose conservative--rest, PT, stretching and strengthening. Frankly I do not know if I made the right call. But very, very gradually over time it did heal. Now, over 15 years later I sometimes get pain in the site and when I do I back off. My recovery was not in weeks or months. It took several years before it seemed comparable to the left side. During that time there were ups and downs. Face climbing was more painful than crack or ice climbing--the latter tend to put the elbow into a neutral "thumbs up" orientation and is therefore less stressful. To summarize my situation suggests that possibly if one is patient and faithful to doing everything right, that over a period of years one can heal--perhaps not 100% but into the high 90% recovery. Hope that helps.
Cheers,

Bob Loomis, Spokane, WA.


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By Chris Centeno
Sep 30, 2013

Cotton, based on my clinical experience surgery isn't a great option for tendonopathy. I'm the founder of the clinic you referenced. In our experience, when patients aren't recovering with PRP it's either because of a subtle neck issue that also needs to be treated or the tissue needs stronger therapies like stem cells. Happy to answer any questions you may have, my e-mail is centenooffice@centenoschultz.com.


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By Cotton
Oct 6, 2013

SpokaneBob -
Thanks for your reply. I've been dealing with this issue for 2 years and have tried everything with the exception of surgery (or Regenexx). I don't really want to approach this conservatively for another 10 years before I feel good again. I'm young and otherwise healthy and want to take advantage of that. I'd rather have surgery, rehab for 6-12 months and then get back at it.

Chris -
Thanks for your reply.
Regenexx has me intrigued, but I can't afford an uninsured $8,000 procedure on the notion that it may work. I emailed you privately and look forward to your response.

If anyone else has actually had the epicondylectomy procedure I'd appreciate hearing from you. Thanks!


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By Chris Centeno
Oct 7, 2013

Cotton, surgery isn't a sure thing as there is no good medical evidence to show that it's all that effective. Our current process is in the 4K range, but I understand if that's too much. In the meantime, if PRP didn't work, I can't emphasize enough that it's likely a shoulder or neck issue rather than an elbow issue. this is explained further in this book: www.regenexx.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Orthopedics-2.0->>> .


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By Cotton
Oct 7, 2013

Thank you for the information, Chris. I'll look into it and will follow up with questions when I get through the 100+ pages. Are your citations hyperlinked? I didn't notice any citations within the e-book.

I did email you with specific questions as you suggested and I am looking forward to a more specific, private reply. Cheers.


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By Chris Centeno
Oct 8, 2013

Yes, the whole book is extensively hyperlinked.


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