Scientists from the UK presented research this month at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, demonstrating efficacy of Autologous Blood Injections (ABI). The study used ultrasound and MRI to document micro-tears in the hamstring., termed tendinopathy (refers to chronic scarring & thickening with poor blood flow).
The study compared groups with ABI versus ABI +Steroid versus Steroid alone. All patients participated in physical therapy for 6 wks. The steroid group had temporary benefits than ran out between 3-12 weeks; however the blood injection group had continued improvements in pain & function at one year follow up.
This study and others like it demonstrate the utility in utilizing ultrasound guidance to enhance patient outcomes. Also the study suggests the benefits of utilizing whole blood which contains growth factors rich in healing properties. I expect ultrasound use to become mainstream. In my experience all patients & physicians that initially witness ultrasound are impressed with teh technology & how it improves patient care.