Autologous whole blood or corticosteroid injections for the treatment of epicondylopathy and plantar fasciopathy? A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
Physical Therapy in Sport : Official Journal of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports Medicine. 2016;22:114-122
OBJECTIVES To compare the efficacy of autologous whole blood with that of corticosteroid injections on epicondylopathy and plantar fasciopathy. DESIGN Systematic review and meta-analysis. METHODS The databases of PubMed, Web of Science, CENTRAL, and Scopus were searched up to 6th May 2015. Randomized trials comparing the effects of autologous whole blood and corticosteroid injections on epicondylopathy or plantar fasciopathy were included. Trials exploring the efficacy of platelet-rich plasma were excluded. The primary outcome was pain relief. The secondary outcome included the assessment of composite outcomes. All outcomes were assessed at 2-6 (short-term) weeks, 8-13 (intermediate-term) weeks and 24-26 (medium-term) weeks. Quality assessment was performed with the Cochrane risk of bias tool. RESULTS Nine trials were included. For pain relief, there was a statistically significant difference in favour of corticosteroids in the short term (SMD 0.52; 95%CIs 0.18 to 0.86; I2 = 53%; p < 0.01). A statistically significant difference in favour of autologous whole blood was indicated in the medium-term assessment of pain relief on epicondylopathy. CONCLUSIONS Corticosteroids were marginally superior to autologous whole blood in relieving pain on plantar fasciopathy at 2-6 weeks. Autologous whole blood provided significant clinical relief on epicondylopathy at 8-24 weeks. Conclusions were limited by the risk of bias.