Healing Injuries With Your Own Blood

Tendon injuries account for up to 50% of all sports injuries. An experimental but promising new therapy has athletes using their own blood to end the pain. Tiger woods claims it helped heal his injured knee. And as Robyn Haines reports, the surgery-free alternative has athletes and weekend warriors alike lining up to give it a try. Doctor Steven Sampson is a physical medicine & rehabilitation specialist at the Ortho-Healing Center in Los Angeles, CA. During the 45-minute procedure, doctors draw blood from the patient’s arm. A filtration machine spins the blood separating red blood cells from platelets, the part of the blood that stimulates healing. This high concentration of platelets — up to 23 times that of normal blood — is injected into the injury, triggering the healing process. Studies show it reduced pain for 81% of patients with tennis elbow after six months. 93% reported a reduction in pain up to three years later. The price, $1,500 per injection – is not covered by insurance because it’s considered experimental. Doctor Sampson is also using the platelet therapy for patients with knee osteoarthritis. He reports 62% of patients were satisfied with their pain reduction after one year.