The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Autologous blood injection for tendinopathy.

This document replaces previous guidance on autologus blood injection (NICE interventional procedure guidance 279, January 2009).


Tendons are bands of fibrous connective tissue that connect muscle to bone. ‘Tendinopathy’ describes a range of conditions that affect tendons, usually caused by overuse. The most common tendons affected are in the elbow, the heel and the knee. Symptoms include pain, weakness and stiffness. In autologous blood injection, blood is taken from the patient and re-injected around the affected tendon. Sometimes the blood is separated into red blood cells and platelets (cell fragments that produce substances called growth factors) before injecting the sample containing mostly platelets. The aim is to supply the tendon with growth factors that start the healing process.

Coding recommendations

T74.6 Autologous blood injection into tendon

Chapter ‘Z’ site code to identify tendon

Y53.2 Approach to organ under ultrasonic control is assigned following T74.6 when performed under ultrasonic guidance.

Your responsibility

This guidance represents the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, healthcare professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account, and specifically any special arrangements relating to the introduction of new interventional procedures. The guidance does not override the individual responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer. 

All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.

Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to implement the guidance, in their local context, in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations. Nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties. Providers should ensure that governance structures are in place to review, authorise and monitor the introduction of new devices and procedures.

Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)