Glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) patches are used to treat heart disorders, namely angina. It has been found that these patches, typically cut into smaller pieces to give a smaller dose, can help relieve pain in certain tendinopathies. The fragment of patch is applied to the painful area daily for a few weeks. The GTN patches can also help healing but this is not confirmed in all studies on this method of treatment. We use topical GTN patches to help pain and to speed tendon healing in selected cases.
This treatment relies on the fact the that nitric oxide that is released by the patches in small quantities, has been shown in various studies to have a positive effect on tendon healing after injury.
Not everyone is suitable for this treatment as in some people the patches can cause a slight drop in blood pressure, although this is rare with the small doses that are used. It is for this reason that we use patches only in selected cases.
We are monitoring our results with this treatment carefully to help determine the true place for this treatment in tendinopathies.