To assess the relationship between knee osteoarthritis (KOA)-specific quality-of-life (QoL) and intra-articular cartilage volume (CV) in participants treated with prolotherapy. KOA is characterized by CV loss and multifactorial pain. Prolotherapy is an injection therapy reported to improve KOA-related QoL compared to blinded saline injections and at-home exercise but the mechanism of action is unknown.
Two-arm (Prolotherapy, Control), partially blinded, controlled trial.
Outpatient. Participants: 37 adults with ≥3 months of symptomatic KOA.
Prolotherapy: 5 monthly injection sessions; Control: blinded saline injections or at-home exercise.
Primary: KOA-specific QoL scores (baseline, 5, 9, 12, 26, 52 weeks; Western Ontario McMaster University Osteoarthritis Index, WOMAC). Secondary: KOA-specific pain, stiffness, function (WOMAC subscales), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-assessed CV (baseline, 52 weeks).
Knee-specific QoL improvement among Prolotherapy participants exceeded that of Controls (17.6±3.2 versus 8.6±5.0 points, p=0.05) at 52 weeks. Both groups lost CV over time (p<0.05); no between-group differences were noted (p=0.98). While Prolotherapy participants lost CV at varying rates, those who lost the least CV ("Stable CV") had the greatest improvement in pain scores. Among Prolotherapy, but not Control participants, the change in CV and the change in pain (but not stiffness or function) scores were correlated; each 1% CV loss was associated with 2.7% less improvement in pain score (p<0.05).
Prolotherapy resulted in safe, substantial improvement in KOA-specific QoL compared to Control over 52-weeks. Among prolotherapy participants, but not Controls, MRI-assessed CV change (CV stability) predicted pain severity score change, suggesting prolotherapy may have pain-specific disease-modifying effect. Further research is warranted.
"Although cartilage volume increases after each prolotherapy session and will remain increased for a time, it decreases over time, which has a significant correlation with the pain subscales of the WOMAC score [Rabago et al. 2013a]. Therefore, it is possible that with longer follow up, we would observe similar improvements to those reported by others. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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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