Prolotherapy is a non-surgical regenerative orthopedic injection therapy for tendon and ligament reconstruction and joint stabilization. An injection into an acute or chronically weak, over-strained, damaged, or injured tendon, ligament, or meniscus stimulates new connective tissue growth. This results in increased tensile strength, joint stability, improved range of motion in the joint, while drastically reducing pain. Unlike corticosteroid injections which temporarily reduce pain by reducing inflammation, prolotherapy repairs the root cause of pain by reconstructing the connective tissue, resulting in long term pain relief.
How does it work?
Prolotherapy works by causing short-term, low grade inflammation at the injection site in the affected tissue. This causes an activation of fibroblast cells to the area, which, in turn, synthesize precursors to produce and mature collagen and thus reinforce connective tissue. Exposure of fibroblasts to growth factors (either endogenous or exogenous) causes new cell growth and collagen deposition. The local inflammatory reaction creates secondary growth factor dissemination. The inflammatory stimulus of prolotherapy raises the level of growth factors to initiate new connective growth and repair. Biopsy studies show strengthening of the tendon or ligament after prolotherapy injections.
What is the course of treatment?
Prolotherapy uses dextrose injections, ranging from 12.5% to 22.5% directly into the affected tissue. Injections and follow-ups are at 3 week intervals in order to allow time for the tissue to begin to heal and regenerate. Initial assessments are standard 60 minute initial appointments in order to complete a full orthopaedic assessment of the affected joint(s), as well as general health history taking. Follow-up injection appointments are 30 minutes to allow for repeat orthopedic assessment to monitor progress and administration of the injections.
What conditions do prolotherapy injections help?
- Tendon & ligament tears, ruptures, overstrain injuries
- Capsular tears
- Rotator cuff tears
- Meniscus tears
- Back & neck pain
- Disc herniations
- Joint hypermobility
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