Small RhombusA proven nonsurgical procedure that stimulates the body's natural healing processes to strengthen joints weakened by trauma or arthritis.

Prolotherapy Studies

Br. J. Sports Med., Sonographically guided intratendinous injections for the treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis of hyperosmolar dextrose/lidocaine: a pilot study.

M B Ryan, A D Wong, J H Gillies, J Wong and J E Taunton, 2009;43;303-306; originally published online 19 Nov 2008; doi:10.1136/bjsm.2008.050021

OBJECTIVE: To report on the effectiveness of sonographically guided injections of hyperosmolar dextrose at reducing the pain associated with chronic plantar fasciitis.
DESIGN: Case series.
SETTING: Ultrasound division of St Paul’s Hospital.
PATIENTS: 20 referrals (3 men, 17 women; age 51 (SD 13) years) from local sports medicine primary care practitioners who had failed previous conservative treatments.
INTERVENTIONS: A 27-gauge needle administered a 25% dextrose/lidocaine solution under sonographic guidance at 6 week intervals returning for a median of three consultations.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Visual analogue scale (VAS) items for pain levels at rest (VAS1), activities of daily living (VAS2), and during or after physical activity (VAS3) were recorded at baseline and at the final treatment consultation (post-test). A telephone interview conducted an average of 11.8 months after the post-test consultation provided a measure of long-term follow-up.
RESULTS: 16 patients reported a good to excellent outcome, while the symptoms in 4 patients were unchanged. There was a significant decrease (p<0.001) in all mean VAS items from pre-test to post-test: VAS1 (36.8 (SD 25.6) to 10.3 (10.9)), VAS2 (74.7 (20.8) to 25.0 (27.7)) and VAS3 (91.6 (9.2) to 38.7 (35.1)) and there were no apparent changes after the follow-up interview.
CONCLUSIONS: Sonographically guided dextrose injections showed a good clinical response in patients with chronic plantar fasciitis insofar as pain was reduced during rest and activity. Further studies including a control group are needed to validate these outcomes.

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008 Feb;89(2):377-85. High-resolution ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging to document tissue repair after prolotherapy: a report of 3 cases.

Fullerton BD. Patient-Physician Partnership, Austin, TX, USA.

Abstract High-resolution ultrasound imaging of musculoskeletal tissue is increasing in popularity because of patient tolerability, low cost, ability to visualize tissue in real-time motion, and superior resolution of highly organized tissue such as a tendon. Prolotherapy, defined as the injection of growth factors or growth factor production stimulants to grow normal cells or tissue, has been a controversial procedure for decades; it is currently gaining in popularity among physiatrists and other musculoskeletal physicians. This report describes imaging of tendons, ligaments, and medial meniscus disease (from trauma or degeneration). Although these tissues have been poorly responsive to nonsurgical treatment, it is proposed that tissue growth and repair after prolotherapy in these structures can be documented with ultrasound and confirmed with magnetic resonance imaging.


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