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 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Pain scale is 1-10 where 1 = no pain & 10 = unrelenting pain.
To the question
“Did Prolotherapy meet your expectations?”
(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!
PRESCRIPTION PAIN MEDICATIONS PER DAY
Prolotherapy helps people avoid knee surgery!
Prolotherapy meets or exceeds expectations!
of patients in this study said Prolotherapy met or exceeded their expectations.”
Prolotherapy improves mobility!
|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|
|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
- The Case for Utilizing Prolotherapy as First-Line Treatment for Meniscal Pathology: A Retrospective Study Shows Prolotherapy is Effective in the Treatment of MRI-Documented Meniscal Tears and Degeneration
- The Deterioration of Articular Cartilage in Osteoarthritis by Corticosteroid Injections
- Standard Clinical X-ray Studies Document Cartilage Regeneration in Five Degenerated Knees After Prolotherapy
- Prolotherapy is the Best Treatment for Knee Pain and Instability
- Prolotherapy as an Alternative to Surgery
- A Systematic Review of Dextrose Prolotherapy for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain
- Evidence-Based Use of Dextrose Prolotherapy for Musculoskeletal Pain: A Scientific Literature Review
- Joint Instability Treatment with Prolotherapy
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
On and Off Knee Pain
JD, a 68-year-old female, came to Caring Medical after suffering from right knee pain intermittently for many years. She had received hyaluronic acid injections four months prior which only offered temporary relief. Her daily life was affected as she found it difficult to climb stairs and had developed severe pain after dancing at a wedding shortly before seeing us. Our provider determined she had developed osteoarthritis due to joint instability. A treatment plan consisting of H3 dextrose Prolotherapy along with Platelet Rich Plasma was recommended. After her first treatment, her knee pain had decreased by 80% with activity. When she returned for her third treatment, her main complaint was crepitation (cracking) and a strain in her right thigh that would occur while carrying her grandchildren. We were hopeful that the third treatment would be all she would need. A year and a half after her third treatment, JD reported that she had returned to full activity. She was able to return to using the elliptical and treadmill while only experiencing very mild knee pain on rare occasion. She reported carrying her grandchildren up and down stairs with no issues. She was able to enjoy long walks again!
Not everyone has a specific diagnosis upon being seen as a new patient. One of the jobs of the Prolotherapist is to give a proper diagnosis, and help the patient understand how that diagnosis occurred. In the case of osteoarthritis, joint instability is actually the most common cause. It's not just "wear and tear" or "aging." The good news is that Prolotherapy treats the root cause of osteoarthritis, and helps people enjoy the activities they love without pain.
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.
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
How well do you understand the cause of your knee pain?
Take the Joint Instability Quiz! This quiz covers how musculoskeletal pain develops and which important diagnosis is often missing when people are suffering from chronic pain.
Articles about Prolotherapy for Knee Pain
- How fast can I return to work after knee replacement? 15 to 30% of patients do not return to work
- Answers for chronic knee swelling and synovial inflammation
- After ACL Reconstruction | Complications and post-surgery treatment options
- When your knee pain is coming from your unmanaged or uncontrolled Type 2 diabetes
- Platelet rich plasma injections for meniscus tears
- Can you avoid knee replacement surgery and fix a bone on bone knee without having stem cell therapy?
- Can bone marrow stem cells repair osteoarthritis bone damage in your knees?
- Why stem cell therapy did not work for your knee pain
- Platelet Rich Plasma for Knee Osteoarthritis When it works When it will not work and When is it better than other treatments
- What is the best diet for my knee pain?
- Stem Cell injections for knee meniscus tears and post-meniscectomy
- The evidence for Prolotherapy Injections for knee osteoarthritis
- The evidence for non-surgical bucket handle meniscus tear repair
- Patellar Tendinopathy | Jumper’s Knee
- Treating Chondromalacia Patella – Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
- My knee hurts worse than my doctor believes it should – my doctor does not believe me
- Should I have knee surgery for meniscus tear?
- Problems after knee replacement Finding help for post-replacement pain
- The connection between knee pain, knee replacement and Alzheimer’s Disease
- Robotic assisted partial knee replacement | Non-surgical alternatives
- Surgery and non-surgical treatments for acute and chronic knee cap dislocation
- Osgood-Schlatter Disease
- Treating loose bodies in your knee
- The many types of meniscus tears
- Research on Alternatives to Knee Replacement Surgery
- Chronic Knee Pain, Knee Instability, and Degenerative Knee Disease
- Depression before joint replacement, depression after joint replacement
- Research: For many, arthroscopic knee surgery does not work and in fact may be harmful
- The Evidence against Hyaluronic Acid Injections for Knee Osteoarthritis | Are Hyaluronic injections low-value health care?
- Treating osteoarthritis in the aging athlete
- Knee cartilage surgery and knee cartilage non-surgical repair
- Stem Cell Prolotherapy for knee cartilage regeneration
- Iliotibial band friction syndrome Knee pain in Runners
- Being forced to wait for knee replacement is painful, significantly deteriorates your condition, worsens your knee pain
- Bone Marrow Aspirate Prolotherapy for knee pain
- ACL reconstruction surgery alternatives and treatment options | Prolotherapy, PRP and stem cells
- Prolotherapy for Meniscus Tears
- Medial Collateral Ligament Knee Injury
- Arthroscopic surgery and stem cells – the best of both worlds?
- Oral Contraceptive Use | Does Estrogen cause or prevent ACL injury?
- Prolotherapy Baker’s cyst treatment
- Treating the whole knee treats widespread body pain
- Knee Tendinopathy | Tendinosis | Tendonitis
- Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injury and Treatments
- Posterolateral corner injuries of the knee
- BEFORE you consider Knee Distraction Surgery
- LCL | Lateral Collateral Ligament Injury of the Knee
- Cobalt poisoning in knee replacements
Videos about Prolotherapy for Knee Pain
Books about Prolotherapy for Knee Pain
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.