I have read some claims about the usefulness of stem cell therapy to treat a lateral epicondylopathy.
Innovative treatments that include stem cell therapy, supplements, growth factors and platelet rich plasma are injected into the injured area. These treatments have proven incredibly effective in reducing inflammation, easing pain and promoting the healing of the damaged tissues.
Race horses are especially prone to injuries of the tendon and ligaments. Conventional therapies are very unsuccessful in returning the horse to full functioning potential. Natural healing, guided by the conventional treatments, leads to the formation of fibrous scar tissue that reduces flexibility and full joint movement. Traditional treatments prevented a large number of horses from returning to full activity and also have a high incidence of re-injury due to the stiff nature of the scarred tendon. Introduction of both bone marrow and adipose derived stem cells, along with natural mechanical stimulus promoted the regeneration of tendon tissue. The natural movement promoted the alignment of the new fibers and tendocytes with the natural alignment found in uninjured tendons. Stem cell treatment not only allowed more horses to return to full duty and also greatly reduced the re-injury rate over a three-year period.
The use of embryonic stem cells has also been applied to tendon repair. The embryonic stem cells were shown to have a better survival rate in the tendon as well as better migrating capabilities to reach all areas of damaged tendon. The overall repair quality was also higher, with better tendon architecture and collagen formed. There was also no tumor formation seen during the three month experimental period. Long-term studies need to be carried out to examine the long-term efficacy and risks associated with the use of embryonic stem cells. Similar results have been found in small animals.
Is there any clinical evidence supporting or infirming the usefulness of stem cell therapy to treat a lateral epicondylopathy for humans?