Autologous conditioned serum is a specialised injection technique to reduce the pain and inflammation in osteoarthritis and to aid in healing tendon and muscle injuries.

Osteoarthritis refers to the breakdown of the special lining of the joints called cartilage. We know this is caused by both mechanical wear and chronic inflammation. One of the main messenger proteins in this process is called interleukin-1 (or IL-1). Orthokine therapy works by strengthening the natural components of your own blood that block IL-1.

Developed in Germany in 1997 and previously available to international and Australian Football League professional athletes, we can now offer the treatment at our St Andrew’s clinic, South Terrace, Adelaide.

Evidence

Autologous conditioned serum is not a standard treatment but has shown benefit in knee osteoarthritis, after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, Achilles tendon injury and muscle injury. As with any treatment, the results vary between individuals.

Benefits

The main benefit is likely to be in osteoarthritis where traditional treatments have not controlled your pain, but you want to avoid or delay joint replacement surgery. It may also have benefits in muscle and tendon injury.

Preparation

If possible, wear clothing that allows easy access to the area that is being imaged.

Procedure

A referral is needed from your GP, sports doctor or surgeon.

At the time of treatment, you will need to be free from any acute infection, recent antibiotics, or recent

We take a sample of blood from a vein in your arm like a normal blood test. This is specially treated, and then the blood is stored frozen, so we can use it for a series of injections into your joint or tendon/muscle. This is usually 1-2 per week, and up to six can be performed for a treatment.

Post-Procedure Care

Do not do any vigorous activity for two days. After that, you can return to normal daily activities and light duties. Avoid movements that are known to aggravate your problem. As with any injection, success is more likely if it is part of an ongoing treatment programme guided by your doctor.

Risks / Side effects

As we are re-injecting your own blood, there is no risk of an allergic reaction. Sometimes the injection can cause mild irritation. Any injection carries a small risk of introducing infection, about 1 in 30,000 and we take precautions to minimise this. If you experience increased swelling or redness, please call your doctor.

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