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Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. It is a degenerative joint disease that affects the cartilage, bones, and surrounding tissues of a joint. It is the most common type of arthritis and typically affects the joints in the hands, hips, knees, and spine. Symptoms of OA include pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion. It is most commonly seen in older adults but can also develop as a result of an injury or other joint condition. There is no cure for OA, but treatments such as physical therapy, and medications. A surgical procedure may provide relief from pain and restoration of function when other treatments are ineffective or have been exhausted, especially for advanced OA.

Can You Avoid Knee Replacement Surgery? 

Some may avoid knee replacement surgery by losing weight to ease the stress on their knee joints. Strengthen your leg muscles, particularly your thigh muscles. An innovative, regenerative option for a non surgical knee arthritis treatment offered in TriPT Brooklyn is Prolotherapy, also known as proliferation therapy. It is a type of alternative medicine that involves injecting a solution into joints or other areas of the body with the goal of reducing pain and inflammation. The solution typically contains a mixture of dextrose, saline, and anesthetic, and is intended to stimulate the body’s own healing response. Prolotherapy is sometimes used as a treatment for conditions such as osteoarthritis, tendinitis, and chronic low back pain, but its effectiveness has not been widely studied and is considered controversial.

How Does Prolotherapy For Knees Treatment Work?

Prolotherapy works by injecting a solution into the knee joint with the goal of stimulating the body’s own healing response. The solution typically contains a mixture of dextrose, saline, and anesthetic. The idea is that prolotherapy causes an inflammatory response in the knee joint by injecting a solution, stimulating the release of growth and repair factors that initiate the healing process. These factors, found in the initial inflammatory response, include fibroblasts, which are responsible for building collagen and cartilage, chondrocytes, which are the only type of cell found in cartilage and responsible for its formation, and osteocytes, which are responsible for bone formation. The theory behind prolotherapy is that it can help to repair damaged or weakened ligaments, tendons, and other connective tissues in the knee, which in turn can help to reduce pain and improve joint function. 

Clinical Rresearch Supports Prolotherapy for Knees

Does prolotherapy work on knees? A study from December 2021*, investigated whether hypertonic dextrose (HD) injections, also known as prolotherapy, can reduce pain in patients with osteoarthritis by stimulating cartilage regeneration. The study was conducted in a laboratory setting using chondrogenic cells and aimed to identify the HD concentration that would increase metabolic activity and assess the effect of this concentration on collagen deposition and cell proliferation. The findings suggest that a 250 mM HD solution may be associated with increased metabolic activity of chondrocytes, increased collagen deposition, and increased chondrocyte proliferation. These results support the clinical research on prolotherapy that suggests that intra-articular HD joint injections can reduce knee pain.

A study conducted in May 2022** showed that patients with knee osteoarthritis who received dextrose prolotherapy injections directly into the joint experienced a reduction in pain, an improvement in function, and an enhancement in quality of life when compared to those who received blinded saline injections. The procedure is considered easy to perform and safe, with high levels of patient compliance and satisfaction.

Another study from 2019*** evaluating the effect of dextrose injection on controlling knee osteoarthritis pain concluded that overall, it appears that the use of dextrose prolotherapy is a practical, safe, cost-effective, easily accessible, and less complicated alternative to other treatments for these patients.

Considering prolotherapy for knees? Request a consultation at Physical Therapy Brooklyn, 2 locations to best serve you.

*The Annals of Family Medicine May 2020, 18 (3) 235-242

** Cartilage. 2021 Dec;13(2_suppl):213S-224S.
*** Ghasemi, Mahshid et al. Adv Rheumatol 59, 39 (2019).

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