Prolotherapy for Knee Pain

The knee is the #1 area that we treat at our clinics, offering the best regenerative options available with outstanding patient results. If you are looking for an alternative to knee surgery or even suffering from post-surgical knee pain, you are in great hands! Our results have made us leaders in the field of Prolotherapy, including Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapy, since 1993. We have helped thousands of patients overcome knee pain. Want to know the secret to our patients’ success? Our providers specialize in more advanced Prolotherapy techniques to correct the underlying, and often undiagnosed cause of knee pain: joint instability. Whether you have recently injured your ACL or meniscus, or have been struggling with knee arthritis or other pain for years, knee instability plays a significant role. Prolotherapy is the ideal knee pain treatment for anyone looking to avoid knee replacement for arthritis, athletes looking to avoid putting knee surgery on a resume, and everything in between! Navigate through the sections below for lots of knee pain information or get help from our medical staff now.

knee instability

Symptoms caused by Knee Instability

  • Crepitation with movement
  • Knee pain
  • Knee popping
  • Knee swelling
  • Loss of knee motion
  • Loss of muscle strength
  • Muscle spasms
  • Referral lower leg pain


These symptoms can be signs of the following knee pain conditions caused by knee instability that we commonly treat with Prolotherapy.




Chronic Conditions caused by Knee Instability

Knee
Instability
Knee
osteoarthritis
Iliotibial
band syndrome
Runner’s
knee
Knee
Ligament
tears
Osteochondral
defects
Chondromalacia
patella
Knee
bone spurs
Baker’s
cyst
Patellar
tendinitis
Meniscus
tears



Knee pain can start from a traumatic event, such as a fall or football tackle. Or it can become more apparent over time, with increasingly stiff and swollen knees. Knee joint instability is the most common reason for knee pain, yet often goes undiagnosed in patients and lead to unnecessary knee surgery. It is due to weakness or tears of the ligaments and tendon attachments surrounding the knee joint. Knee instability can also result in the kneecap tracking abnormally, causing pain and the cartilage under the kneecap to wear down.




How soft tissue injury leads to Degenerative Arthritis

Following a trauma, ligaments become sprained and relaxed. If left untreated, chronic joint instability and destructive joint motion occur with continued use of the joint, ultimately leading to extensive degenerative changes and osteoarthritis. Destructive joint motion and the degenerative process can be prevented with appropriate intervention through Prolotherapy, including traditional dextrose Prolotherapy, Platelet Rich Plasma, and Stem Cell Therapy. These regenerative treatments can be used for arthritic joints as well, but utilizing these options earlier can potentially save a lot of lost time and lifestyle adjustments due to pain.


degenerative arthritis





Prolotherapy Treatment for Knee Pain

Prolotherapy stops knee pain because it corrects the reason for the knee pain, plain and simple. Prolotherapy injections target the damaged ligaments that are causing the underlying knee instability which, in turn, causes destructive joint motions that erode the cartilage. By stabilizing knee joint motion, Prolotherapy can stop the accelerated degenerative cascade, and even allow the regeneration of cartilage as can be seen on x-ray. The injections induce a localized, temporary inflammatory response, stimulating your body’s natural healing cascade. Remember, no tissue in the body repairs without the use of inflammation—it is how all of our tissues repair! The local inflammation induced by Prolotherapy is far different than chronic, systemic inflammatory conditions. The use of Prolotherapy is also the complete opposite of pain “management” treatments like cortisone injections and NSAIDs. Corticosteroids and NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen) are used to turn off the pain signal, but also turn off the body’s healing (inflammatory) cascade, a crippling long-term side effect that does not allow for normal knee repair and sets a patient up for eventual knee replacement surgery. As opposed to knee surgery, a major advantage of a Prolotherapy treatment course is that patients remain active while the tissue repairs.




Knee Prolotherapy vs. Knee Surgery

Which would you rather have?


knee prolotherapy vs. knee surgery



The Caring Medical Prolotherapy protocols treat the knee more comprehensively when compared to the majority of other regenerative protocols, including offices doing single-shot PRP or stem cell injections. Whether a patient is an ideal candidate for traditional dextrose Prolotherapy, Platelet Rich Plasma, or Stem Cell therapy, each patient receives a full joint treatment. In our clinical experience, providing patients with more comprehensive treatment techniques is superior for obtaining long-term Prolotherapy results, and fewer overall treatments are typically needed. Our specialists work with each patient to determine which solution is ideal to turn on the type of healing response needed to resolve the condition.





Prolotherapy Treatment for Knee Arthritis

Degenerative vs. Regenerative cascade. Traditional treatments intensify the degenerative cascade wheras Prolotherapy restores knee joint physiology and biomechanics.

regeneration vs. degenerative arthritis




Our Research on the use of Prolotherapy for Knee Pain

In our observational study, patients with unresolved knee pain reported clinically relevant improvements in their pain levels and quality of life after receiving dextrose Prolotherapy. The complete study and results can be read here: Hauser R, Hauser M. A Retrospective Study on Dextrose Prolotherapy for Unresolved Knee Pain at an Outpatient Charity Clinic in Rural Illinois. Journal of Prolotherapy. 2009;1(1):11-21.

KNEE PAIN LEVELS
6.5
Average pain level BEFORE Prolotherapy
2.5
Average pain level AFTER Prolotherapy

Pain scale is 1-10 where 1 = no pain & 10 = unrelenting pain.


We get patient satisfaction results. 96% of patients in this study felt that Prolotherapy changed their life for the better and 97% have since recommended Prolotherapy to someone else.





Our Research on the use of Prolotherapy for Meniscal Tears

In our meniscal pathology pilot study, Prolotherapy showed positive improvements in pain levels, stiffness and quality of life in patients with meniscal tears and degeneration. This includes tears in all three meniscal zones, as well complete and complex meniscal tears. From the patient’s point of view there were noticeable improvements in crepitation and range of motion of their knees. Major improvements in walking ability, exercise ability, and decreased medication usage was also reported with Prolotherapy.

KNEE PAIN LEVELS DUE TO MENISCAL INJURIES
7.2
Average pain level BEFORE Prolotherapy
1.6
1.6
Average pain level AFTER Prolotherapy

Pain scale is 1-10 where 1 = no pain & 10 = unrelenting pain.


To the question
“Did Prolotherapy meet your expectations?”

96.4%

(27 out of 28) of the patients treated answered “Yes.”




Our Research on the use of Prolotherapy for Chondromalacia Patella

In our retrospective study of 69 knees diagnosed with chondromalacia patella, Prolotherapy improved pain, range of motion, stiffness, crepitus, and much more. Patients also experienced a drastic decrease, or in some cases even elimination, of the need for pain medication. Other interesting findings to note, of the 16 knees that were recommended for surgery prior to receiving prolotherapy, only 3 knees were recommended for surgery after Prolotherapy, and 58/61 patients said prolotherapy met or exceeded their expectations.

Prolotherapy helps people get off pain medication!

% OF PATIENTS TAKING 1 OR MORE
PRESCRIPTION PAIN MEDICATIONS PER DAY
42
BEFORE Prolotherapy
4.4%
4.4
AFTER Prolotherapy

Prolotherapy helps people avoid knee surgery!

PATIENTS RECOMMENDED FOR KNEE SURGERY
23.2
BEFORE Prolotherapy
4.3%
4.3
AFTER Prolotherapy

Prolotherapy meets or exceeds expectations!

95.1%

of patients in this study said Prolotherapy met or exceeded their expectations.”

Prolotherapy improves mobility!

Walking
Ability
Before
Prolotherapy
After
Prolotherapy
No distance restriction for walking 24 (35.3%) 56 (82.3%)
Mild: > 3 blocks but not as far as desired 26 (38.2%) 11 (16.2%)
Moderate: 1−2 blocks 4 (5.9%) 1 (1.5%)
Severe: < 1 block 8 (11.8%) 0
Total disability requires wheelchair or aid 6 (8.8%) 0



Exercise
Ability
Before
Prolotherapy
After
Prolotherapy
None: exercise ability not affected 6 (8.8%) 38 (55.9%)
Mild: no restrictions; can exercise > 60 min,
but not as long as desired
9 (13.2%) 23 (33.8%)
Moderate: can exercise 30−60 min maximum 17 (25.0%) 5 (7.3%)
Severe: can exercise 0−30 min maximum 18 (27.3%) 1 (1.5%)
Total disability 17 (25.0%) 1 (1.5%)




Our other studies on regenerative treatment outcomes for knee pain





Patient Success Stories using Prolotherapy for Knee Pain


Prolotherapy Saved Me From Bilateral Knee Replacements!

56 year-old Alek Jakich, an avid body builder, who suffered from chronic, severe, debilitating bilateral knee pain was told he needed bilateral knee replacements in order to have any chance at a semi-normal life again, but was also told he would likely never lift weights again post surgery. Instead, Alek chose Prolotherapy, along with proper exercise and nutritional supplementation over surgery to regain the active life style to which he was accustomed.

LEARNING POINTS:

Get a second opinion from a Prolotherapist before undergoing knee surgery. Read the entire case study and Alek’s full results.






Flouroquinolones & Tendinosis

GH, a very active 60 yo with crippling, bilateral knee pain, unrelieved by daily anti-inflammatories, was very worried, due to unrelenting pain keeping him from playing tennis. Years earlier, he suffered from Achilles tendinosis associated with fluoroquinolone antibiotic intake, which lead to the stiff, tender iliotibial bands and painful hamstrings along the posterior knee, “like a giant steel U-shaped vise,” that lead GH to seek Prolotherapy. After one treatment to the bilateral ITB’s, hamstring insertions, and comprehensive injections around the knees, GH experienced “miraculous” pain-free movement, feeling 20 years younger.

LEARNING POINTS:

Quinolone antibiotics are known to cause tendinosis which may mimic disabling arthritic type symptoms. Tendinosis is effectively treated with Comprehensive Prolotherapy.






Prolotherapy for Meniscal Tear

At age 65, IR’s active lifestyle was interrupted after he twisted his knee and heard an audible “snap.” He had visited Caring Medical in the past for successful shoulder treatments after a rotator cuff tear, so when the urgent care facility suggested he had a meniscus tear he knew where to go! After 3 treatments of Prolotherapy with Platelet Rich Plasma, IR reported no pain while playing golf or cycling!

LEARNING POINTS:

Pain is a progressive and degenerative disorder. Addressing it right away with regenerative treatments can save a lot of grief. In the case of meniscal tears, PRP Prolotherapy gives excellent results, especially in athletes and active people.






Prolotherapy for Post Arthroscopic Surgery Pain

BR underwent arthroscopic surgery at age 61 after suffering a partial meniscus tear in her left knee. After surgery, she continued to suffer from knee pain and swelling for 10 years before consulting with Caring Medical. As an active 71-year-old who enjoyed working with horses, another surgery was not ideal. BR received 8 comprehensive treatments over the course of 13 months, alternating the standard dextrose solution and tibia bone marrow as the main proliferant. She reported a decrease in pain frequency and intensity with each treatment. As long as she maintains 90% pain relief with full activity, no further intervention will be needed.

LEARNING POINTS:

Many patients are not informed how surgery may affect their joint mechanics and stability long-term, especially when tissue is removed, or even if the structure is “fixed.” This means patients can end up trying multiple surgical procedures and never fully feel back to their old self, prior to the initial surgery. In many of these post-surgical cases that we see, the joint shows multiple signs of instability and is on an accelerated path of degeneration. Sometimes, the realistic expectation is significant pain relief and increased activity, but due to the changes in mechanics after the surgery, the area may not ever feel 100%. Prolotherapy, however, does have the potential to get many of these cases pain relief that surpasses other treatment options!






Prolotherapy for Meniscal Injury

BR, a 58-year-old dancer, injured her knee during a class a few weeks prior to being seen at Caring Medical. She had developed pain, swelling, and a general feeling of instability while weight bearing. Upon physical exam, BR was diagnosed with a meniscal injury. She received one treatment of Prolotherapy and Platelet Rich Plasma and was instructed to brace her knee while dancing for some time after treatment while the area healed. With just one treatment, she reported a pain-free knee after two months! BR was able to walk, climb stairs, and dance without pain!

LEARNING POINTS:

While most patients require an average of 3-6 treatments, BR was able to get back to full activities so quickly after only one, in part because she received treatment right away. When a patient has tried some initial home care, massage, physical therapy, chiropractic, or other conservative care, and the area is still painful and not stable after a few week, a Prolotherapist is needed to resolve the joint instability and knee pain.






Prolotherapy & PRP for Knee Injury

AS was already familiar with Prolotherapy and Caring Medical when he injured his knees at the age of 49. He had received Prolotherapy to his low back years prior which he referred to as “life-changing.” Due to the extent of his knee injury, the presence of meniscus tear, and his active lifestyle as an endurance athlete, a regimen of comprehensive Prolotherapy and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) was recommended. AS received 3 treatments and was able to return to full training capacity without pain!

LEARNING POINTS:

Receiving Prolotherapy sooner than later often requires fewer treatments to restore the joint function and eliminate pain. Depending on the severity of the injury, it may only take 1-3 treatments to resolve.






Knee Instability after Tibia Fracture

Mark fractured his tibia when he was in his late twenties, and felt his knee never fully recovered. He suffered from chronic knee pain for 24 years before consulting with an orthopedic surgeon. After reviewing x-rays, the orthopedic told Mark he did not have a knee problem but could not give him a reason for his pain. His knee pain became progressively worse with activity, constant while weight-bearing, and he developed pain while sitting for long periods of time. When Mark was evaluated by a highly experienced Prolotherapist, it was determined that he was dealing with an unstable knee joint. Based on physical and ultrasound exam, he was diagnosed with a loose MCL and medial meniscus tear. He received two treatments of H3 Prolotherapy, including Platelet Rich Plasma. After the first treatment, his knee pain was no longer constant while walking. Three months after his second treatment, he was pain-free and had returned to full activity!

LEARNING POINTS:

Any force strong enough to break a bone will also overstretch ligaments that connect bone to bone. After a fracture, even though the bone healed, the ligaments often do not fully heal. Ligament damage leads to inappropriate joint forces during movement and eventual joint instability. Soft tissue injuries, like ligaments or meniscal tears, are not seen on x-ray which is why the surgeon could not make an appropriate diagnosis or treatment plan. However, ligaments appear clearly under ultrasound when performing stress maneuvers, which allows the patient and Prolotherapist to recreate the pain and see what is happening in the joint in real-time, as well as other physical exam tests. More importantly, Prolotherapists specialize in non-surgical, regenerative treatments that repair soft tissue and eliminate pain so a patient does not need exploratory surgery and can return to full activity.






Osteoarthritis with Bone Spur

MR was an enthusiastic athlete who enjoyed power lifting and mud running. He had injured his knee in high school, and at 60 years old his chronic knee pain drove him to seek an orthopedic surgeon consultation. The surgeon recommended a knee replacement due to the osteoarthritic degeneration. MR tried cortisone injections and taking NSAIDs but only found temporary relief. MR sought treatment at Caring Medical to avoid surgery and stop pain medications, hoping to return quickly to athletic training, including jogging and competing in events including Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, and Warrior Dash. After four PRP Prolotherapy treatments, his pain resolved. With guided resumption of activity, MR returned to lifting 350 lbs and deadlifting 450 lbs.

LEARNING POINTS:

Even cases of severe degeneration respond to Prolotherapy. When the patient wishes to return to higher-level athletic training, often cellular Prolotherapy (PRP or stem cells) are necessary. A modified training program to maintain fitness should also be individualized between treatments. The results of returning the athlete to their sport is astounding after Prolotherapy.






Unstable and Arthritic Knee Pain Resolved

Joanne developed knee pain with no known injury at age 58. She began to notice pain and swelling with activity which became worse over a period of 8 months. She tried topical pain relief ointments as well as acetaminophen and ibuprofen which only lessened the pain enough to help her sleep. By the time she was seen at Caring Medical, the pain and swelling were constant. Joanne could not walk more than half a block without limping. Upon physical exam, her knee was very unstable and arthritic. After her first Prolotherapy treatment, she had a significant decrease in pain. Joanne received a total of 5 treatments to her knee over a 4-month period. Four of the treatments included 4 Platelet Rich Plasma and 1 included tibia bone marrow in addition to traditional dextrose Prolotherapy. Her improvement continued with each treatment and after her 5th treatment, she graduated from Prolotherapy!

LEARNING POINTS:

The goal with Prolotherapy should be to “graduate” and go on to have a nice life with a stable, pain-free joint. Knee instability only has one curative treatment, which is Prolotherapy, because Prolotherapy stimulates repair of the ligaments that make a joint stable or unstable. Pain “management” should not be the treatment of choice, when a cure is within reach.






Knee Meniscus, MCL, & ACL Injuries

MB came to Caring Medical on crutches after waking up one morning with intense knee pain. He had experienced mild soreness for the previous 2 weeks without known injury. The knee had begun to swell, and his range of motion was limited. Upon physical and ultrasound exam, it was determined MB was dealing with an injured meniscus, medial collateral ligament (MCL), and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). At his first visit, 36cc of fluid was drained from the knee. After draining the knee, he was treated with H3 dextrose Prolotherapy. Prior to his second treatment, MB continued to see an orthopedic physician weekly to have the knee drained due to the intensity of swelling. The orthopedic recommended cortisone injections and arthroscopic surgery but MB chose to continue with Prolotherapy. When MB returned for his second visit, Platelet Rich Plasma was added to the traditional dextrose Prolotherapy protocol. After his second treatment, he was able to limit time on crutches and no longer needed the knee to be drained by the orthopedic. MB underwent a total of 5 treatments, 4 of which included Platelet Rich Plasma. MB was given a detailed home exercise plan and he did not need to go to physical therapy because he diligently did the exercises at home. After the treatment series, his swelling subsided and the pain resolved. MB was able to return to walking and gardening!

LEARNING POINTS:

In some cases, the knee does have to be drained before or between treatments in the early part of the treatment series. Swelling the joint is a protective mechanism that the body uses when there is too much joint instability. Unfortunately, chronic swelling is not a healthy state for the joint, but neither is turning off the protective mechanism with cortisone or NSAIDs. The best thing to do is stimulate the body to repair. This is why Prolotherapy is the best treatment for long-term joint health…that is exactly what it does!





Degenerative Knee Osteoarthritis

BB suffered such severe knee pain that he went on disability at age 59, diagnosed with “bone on bone” osteoarthritis. He was prescribed NSAIDs, given corticosteroid injections, and eventually received an arthroscopic meniscectomy with removal of cartilage. Viscosupplementation injections were also tried, but these also failed to bring about sustained pain relief. His orthopedist recommended a knee replacement. Instead, BB received 3 dextrose Prolotherapy treatments and saw almost immediate pain relief and overall long-term functional improvement.

LEARNING POINTS:

Joints degenerate because of joint instability. Allopathic solutions such as NSAIDs, cortisone, arthroscopy and meniscectomy cause further degeneration. On the other hand, Prolotherapy repairs ligament laxity, stabilizing the joint and relieving chronic pain.






More Information about Prolotherapy for Knee Pain


Articles about Prolotherapy for Knee Pain




Videos about Prolotherapy for Knee Pain

More Knee Prolotherapy Videos




Books about Prolotherapy for Knee Pain

Prolo Your Pain Away!Read about treating knee pain with Prolotherapy in our free E-book, Prolo Your Pain Away! Curing Chronic Pain with Prolotherapy, 4th Edition. This edition explains all about Prolotherapy and how it is used to permanently alleviate pain from arthritis, sports injuries, and all types of chronic pain conditions! Plus, it takes an expanded look at the medical literature and patient studies on Regenerative Medicine: Prolotherapy, Platelet Rich Plasma, Stem Cell Therapy, and more!




Caring Medical: Utilizing the world’s most scientifically curative regenerative injection method, H3 Prolotherapy, for chronic pain, sports injuries, and arthritis

You deserve the best possible results from your knee pain treatment. Let’s make this happen! Talk to our team about your case to find out if you are a good candidate.

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