Prolotherapy for arthritic knees?
April 8, 2014 9:37 AM   Subscribe

I'm considering getting prolotherapy for my knees, and I'm wondering if anyone has any personal experience with it.

I'm 41, active all my life, but my knees have started to creak and ache thanks to a bunch of factors: bow legs, flat feet, ACL repair on one knee (20 years ago), meniscetomy on the other 15 years ago. I want to head off any incipient enfeebling however I can.

I found a practitioner here in Portland who makes a good case for prolotherapy, but since it's going to be out-of-pocket, I wanted to get more background. The studies I've tracked down seem to be positive overall, with a healthy dose of can't-tell-yet and depends-on-the-patient (which the practitioner admits).

So...has it worked for you, or someone you know, or not? What's the process/recovery/long-term effects like? Is it worth it?
posted by gottabefunky to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My hubby had several prolo treatments for low back pain about a year ago. His experience was that he had immediate relief from pain, which lasted for about 2-3 weeks with each treatment.

I think the reason that he did not have long-lasting results is that he was feeling so much better that he resumed all normal activities immediately, as though he had never been injured, and then ended up re-injuring himself.

I think he would have had better and longer-lasting results if he had used prolo just to take him out of pain, so that he could do physical therapy to gain back strength and stamina that he had lost due to the length of his injury. If he had gone in with a long-term plan in terms of rehabilitation and strengthening, I think he would have wasted less money and less time overall.
posted by vignettist at 10:14 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Here's a thread on prolotherapy. Most of the contributors on that site are physical therapists with a strong neuroscience bent.
posted by MillMan at 11:15 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I had it done many years ago in my sacrum and it did wonders. It was intense, and I had PT in conjunction, but after the 10 weeks (10 inections) were over I felt a vast improvement. My doctor at the time did not believe in adding any kind of pain dulling ingredient, which I hear is not typical.
posted by ezust at 2:55 PM on April 8, 2014

I ended up getting prolotherapy in my foot to repair my messed up tendon. It worked wonders when no other more conventional treatments did.

Process is fairly simple. I had a series of 6 injections. The injections themselves didn't hurt, but the subsequent swelling was pretty nasty for about 2-3 days, but once that died down, pretty much pain free. By the 4th injection I had, everything felt normal.

I did do PT at the same time. I did end up re-injuring myself about a week after I finished my PT + prolotherapy treatment, but everything healed up on its own (without more prolo!) in about 2 week's time.
posted by astapasta24 at 3:28 PM on April 8, 2014

For some reason (well, skimming) I only now noticed your title. Have you received a diagnosis of arthritis from a doctor? Prolotherapy is a treatment for ligaments and tendon, it won't help with joint inflammation or degeneration. You did mention ACL surgery, although I kind of wince at all the delicate tissue you have to go through to hit the ACL with a needle.
posted by MillMan at 5:20 PM on April 8, 2014

Response by poster: Yep, diagnosed. And as I understand from the doc and my own research, it does help with osteoarthritis.
posted by gottabefunky at 10:44 PM on April 8, 2014

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