I had Platelet Replacement Therapy last week after my fourth cortisone shot was not effective.  I chose to do PRP over full tennis elbow surgery as the recovery time is a couple of weeks, as opposed to several months for surgery, and it has a 80-90 % success rate.  PRP requires about a half pint of blood to be taken out of the body, reduced to platelets and injected back in to the body. As you can tell, getting a half pint of blood out of my tiny veins was quite a challenge! After an hour, some lidocaine, and a helpful ultrasound machine to find veins, we had enough.  I spoke to others that had this procedure done in other areas of the body with minimal discomfort.  It is theoretically one injection, however after the needle initially goes in it is nearly removed, then plunged back in multiple times so the platelets can be released over a larger area. I can attest that elbow PRP is more like a contraction in your elbow that doesn’t go away for hours (think childbirth), with pain that lasts for over a week.  I have had 4 children, my tonsils and gallbladder out, and this was by far the worst pain I’ve experienced!

I’ve had tennis elbow for over 2 1/2 years now.  It started in 2017, when I added more conventions to my schedule.  The lifting and twisting of boom arms, stands, and the like really took a toll on it.  I have done physical therapy, worked out more, and have added amazing assistants to help me set-up and tear down at conventions in the hopes of alleviating it, but it has been pretty stubborn. One would think tennis elbow would just effect the elbow, but it actually involves the hand too which makes anything like opening a bottle, typing or using a trackpad, grasping or carrying anything (including a pencil), fairly painful.  I am attempting to be ambidextrous while I work on photos, but hopefully this surgery worked and I can go back to editing like normal!

Leave a Reply