Do you have a knee injury that has never fully recovered? Have you been told that the ligaments in your knee have been over-stretched, or that your cartilage has worn away? Maybe you have been told that your knee problems are permanent and that your only choices are surgery or live with the discomfort.
A new option to consider for chronic joint pain due to injury or osteoarthritis is prolotherapy. Prolotherapy is a technique that stimulates cartilage and connective tissue re-growth and repair. A solution containing dextrose, a sugar, is injected into a damaged joint and its surrounding ligaments and tendons. The dextrose initiates a controlled and localized inflammatory response within the joint, and the body’s own growth factors and repair cells are activated and recruited to reorganize scar tissue, strengthen ligaments, and rebuild cartilage.
Although prolotherapy initiates inflammation, it is different than that which typically follows an injury. In prolotherapy, this response is brief, usually lasting several hours to several days, and the normal architecture of the tissue is not destroyed. New cells are grown in an organized fashion and scar tissue does not result. The joint will continue to heal itself for up to 2-3 months after the injection.
Depending on the type of injury, extent of damage, and the patient’s response to treatment, 3-6 treatments may be needed, although some patients may need more or less than this. Most will begin to feel the results after the first 1-2 sessions.
A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study in the Journal of Alternative Therapies (cited below) is one of many studies that reveal the efficacy of prolotherapy for use in patients with osteoarthritis and ligament instability in the knee. The results showed significant reductions in pain, swelling, and knee buckling, while knee flexion and ligament instability markedly improved. These findings were also confirmed by x-ray, which showed improvements in the severity of osteoarthritis in those who were treated with dextrose prolotherapy.
To find out if prolotherapy is indicated for you, make an appointment with Dr. Ayla Wilson ND for an intake and orthopedic assessment.
Reeves KD, Hassanein K. Randomized prospective double-blind placebo-controlled study of dextrose prolotherapy for
knee osteoarthritis with or without ACL laxity. J. Altern. Ther. 2000 Mar; 6(2): 68-80.
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