Dextrose Prolotherapy for Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Department of Family Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin.
The Annals of Family Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.43). 05/2013; 11(3):229-237. DOI: 10.1370/afm.1504
Source: PubMed


Knee osteoarthritis is a common, debilitating chronic disease. Prolotherapy is an injection therapy for chronic musculoskeletal pain. We conducted a 3-arm, blinded (injector, assessor, injection group participants), randomized controlled trial to assess the efficacy of prolotherapy for knee osteoarthritis.

Ninety adults with at least 3 months of painful knee osteoarthritis were randomized to blinded injection (dextrose prolotherapy or saline) or at-home exercise. Extra- and intra-articular injections were done at 1, 5, and 9 weeks with as-needed additional treatments at weeks 13 and 17. Exercise participants received an exercise manual and in-person instruction. Outcome measures included a composite score on the Western Ontario McMaster University Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC; 100 points); knee pain scale (KPS; individual knee), post-procedure opioid medication use, and participant satisfaction. Intention-to-treat analysis using analysis of variance was used.

No baseline differences existed between groups. All groups reported improved composite WOMAC scores compared with baseline status (P <.01) at 52 weeks. Adjusted for sex, age, and body mass index, WOMAC scores for patients receiving dextrose prolotherapy improved more (P <.05) at 52 weeks than did scores for patients receiving saline and exercise (score change: 15.3 ± 3.5 vs 7.6 ± 3.4, and 8.2 ± 3.3 points, respectively) and exceeded the WOMAC-based minimal clinically important difference. Individual knee pain scores also improved more in the prolotherapy group (P = .05). Use of prescribed postprocedure opioid medication resulted in rapid diminution of injection-related pain. Satisfaction with prolotherapy was high. There were no adverse events.

Prolotherapy resulted in clinically meaningful sustained improvement of pain, function, and stiffness scores for knee osteoarthritis compared with blinded saline injections and at-home exercises.

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    • "There are few reports regarding the effects of prolotherapy on OA. All these studies have shown an improvement in different pain scales between 36% and 55%, as well as improved WOMAC subscales following prolotherapy [Rabago et al. 2012, 2013b; Hashemi et al. 2010; Reeves and Hassanein, 2003; Kim et al. 2002]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Prolotherapy is an injection-based complementary treatment, which has shown promising results in the treatment of different musculoskeletal disorders. The aim of this study was to determine the therapeutic efficacy of dextrose prolotherapy on pain, range of motion, and function in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA). In this single-arm prospective study, participants with symptomatic moderate knee osteoarthritis underwent prolotherapy with intra-articular injection of 20% dextrose water at baseline, and at 4 weeks and 8 weeks later. Patients were followed for 24 weeks. Pain severity at rest and activity, according to the visual analog scale (VAS), articular range of motion (ROM), and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities arthritis index (WOMAC) scores were measured at baseline, 4, 8, and 24 weeks later. A total of 24 female patients (average age: 58.37 ± 11.8 years old) received 3-monthly injection therapies. Before the treatment, the mean articular range of motion was 105.41 ± 11.22°. Mean VAS scale at rest and activity was 8.83 ± 1.37 and 9.37 ± 1.31, respectively. At the end of week 24, knee ROM increased by 8°. Pain severity in rest and activity decreased to 4.87 ± 1.39, 45.86%, and 44.23%, respectively (p < 0.001). Total WOMAC score and its subcategories showed a continuous improvement trend in all the evaluation sessions, so that at the end of the study, the total score decreased by 30.5 ± 14.27 points (49.58%) (p < 0.001). Improvements of all parameters were considerable until week 8, and were maintained throughout the study period. Prolotherapy with three intra-articular injections of hypertonic dextrose given 4 weeks apart for selected patients with knee OA, resulted in significant improvement of validated pain, ROM, and WOMAC-based function scores, when baseline levels were compared at 24 weeks. Further studies with randomized controlled trials involving a comparison group are suggested to confirm these findings.
    Therapeutic advances in musculoskeletal disease 03/2015; 7(2). DOI:10.1177/1759720X14566618
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    • "We believe it was insufficient to manage pain control by using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Stronger medications such as opioids used after total knee arthroplasty [16] should have been administered. Insufficient pain control after operation might contribute to depression, therefore, we should consider using opioids under general conditions. "
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    ABSTRACT: Pulmonary thromboembolism after upper extremity operation is rare. We report a patient with thromboembolism after debridement open reduction and internal fixation for bilateral open distal radius fractures. The Japanese patient was an 80-year-old previously healthy female who was able to walk on her own. She fell down and was taken to our hospital. She was diagnosed with bilateral open distal radius fractures and we performed debridement open reduction and internal fixation on the same day. Although she could not walk and was depressed, she was discharged on the ninth postoperative day. However, on the eleventh postoperative day, she returned to our emergency department with complaints of dyspnea and cold sweat. Her serum D-dimer level was 19.0 mug/dl, troponin T was positive, and urgent contrast computed tomography scan of her thorax revealed thrombosis in the bilateral main pulmonary artery. She was diagnosed with pulmonary thromboembolism and admitted to our hospital again. On the second admission, although she had breathing problems, she did not require a respirator. Oxygen was supplied as well as anticoagulants. On the seventh day after being diagnosed with embolism, thrombosis in the bilateral main pulmonary arteries had disappeared. The patient did not have any "strong" risk factors as reported in the Japanese Orthopedic Association Clinical Practice Guideline on the Prevention of Venous Thromboembolism in Patients Undergoing Orthopedic Treatments. In general, upper extremity operation carries a low risk for pulmonary thromboembolism. For patients with decreased activity of daily living and depression, we should consider postponing discharge and performing rehabilitation until activity of daily living is improved.
    BMC Research Notes 01/2014; 7(1):36. DOI:10.1186/1756-0500-7-36

  • The Annals of Family Medicine 05/2013; 11(3):198-199. DOI:10.1370/afm.1532 · 5.43 Impact Factor
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