Prolotherapy For Knee Cartilage Regeneration
Prolotherapy For Knee Cartilage Regeneration
In aged people, osteoarthritis is one of the most common problems. One out of three people suffers from an issue of pain in joints. Even young people reported suffering from the problem. Several studies show that articular cartilage degenerates with time, especially in weight-bearing joints with age.
Among these, the knee joint is the most effective one. Because there is no method to stop or reverse the degeneration of cartilage cases of osteoarthritis seems to increase with time. Due to the raised issues of osteoarthritis, there seems to be an increase in the total number of knee replacements.
There are several treatments for knee cartilage regeneration, but most of these provide temporary benefits. And the issue rises again after some time. Which becomes a problem as knee pain makes life difficult. These treatments include corticosteroid injections, Synvisc and hyalgan injections, etc.
However, recently scientists have discovered Prolotherapy. Till now, it is the best regenerative injection therapy that works best. It helps to inject proliferates in the affected area to start the healing process. In the past, it was used for ligament and tendon injuries. It provides a permanent solution to the problem.
Prolotherapy vs. Cortisone
Both Prolotherapy and Cortisone are used for the treatment of joint pain, injuries, and in issues like arthritis. However, there are still some distinctions that exist between them. Let first understand what both of these are.
Cortisone provides instant relief from pain to the patients and reduces inflammation. However, when it comes to long-term benefits, it is not of much use. Several studies show that the use of Cortisone injections provides more damage than benefits.
It weakens joint tissues by shutting down the pain receptors in the joint. Consequently, you will not stop movement causing more damage to the tissues.
On the other hand, Prolotherapy helps to stimulate healing cascade. As a result of which it increases inflammation and causes more pain. However, pain continues only for 24 hours after Prolotherapy injections.
As it initiates healing, therefore, it provides benefit in the long-term and makes joint stronger. Hence Prolotherapy injections result in short-term pain with long-term gain.
There are numerous differences between the two Cortisone and Prolotherapy. Their main differences are:
- Cortisone is a one-time injection, whereas Prolotherapy consists of multiple injections to an area to provide more significant benefit.
- Prolotherapy’s main aim is to strengthen and heal muscles and provides long-term relief from pain. However, Cortisone weakens muscles as it only provides momentary relief.
- Working in Prolotherapy is in conjunction with the natural healing process of a body, whereas Cortisone works against the normal healing process of a body by inhibiting the healing mechanism.
- Prolotherapy helps to heal tissues and control pain while Cortisone injections stop the pain but at the cost of preventing inflammation, causing more damage to the body than benefit.
How Fast Does Prolotherapy Work?
How fast does Prolotherapy work depends on several factors? Prolotherapy is not a one-time process. Patients need to take multiple injections for complete healing. Usually, patients need three to six Prolotherapy injections, each with an interval of 4-6 weeks.
However, it also depends on the injury. Some patients only need 1 to 2 treatments. How many treatments are required depends significantly on the overall health condition of a patient? The process of healing will be fast when patients take a good diet, proper sleep, and a healthy lifestyle and eliminating stress.
Anesthesia, given with the Prolotherapy, provides immediate relief from pain. Besides, after the effect of pain relief ends, the patient doesn’t feel much pain as it subsides pain by now. Due to the reason that Prolotherapy is injected in a problematic area, patients feel instant relief from pain.
The effect of pain-relief lasts for a week after taking treatment. However, in the 2nd and 4th week, it looks like that the relief provided by therapy has lessened due to the growth of ligament tissue. Consequently, pain may return during this window time of healing.
After the first treatment, most of the parents feel that they are 50 percent treated. But suddenly, after the second treatment, when the pain returns, it feels that they are still at the starting point. However, this is not true. Because usually, after the first treatment a person tries to be more active, so they harm their tissues and the pain returns.
Always keep in mind that healing works in all stages, including physical, behavioral, emotional and spiritual, etc. during these six treatment sessions, our lives change and which has a direct impact on our healing process. Some feel relief after 1st treatment, whereas others feel a big jump after a few treatments.
Follow-up is critical during Prolotherapy after 4 to 6 weeks. And in case of acute injury, patients need to have a follow-up quickly. With time injections required per treatment also decreases.
Prolotherapy Healing Stages
Prolotherapy works by stimulating the natural healing process of a body. Therefore let first understand the natural healing process of the body. There are mainly three healing stages of inflammation. These are
- Acute inflammation phase
- Granulated phase
- And the remodeling phase
This is the same healing pattern in all injuries regardless of the tissues and area. In each of these phases, different cellular and chemical reactions occur. And most importantly, each phase is dependent on the previous one for initiation. It is crucial to understand inflammation phases to better know about the working of Prolotherapy.
The first acute inflammation phase is almost 100 hours long. It starts with the injury. Chemicals around broken cells gather white blood cells. They perform the job of cleaning the area and preventing infection.
In the second phase of inflammation, the granulated inflammation starts with the secretion of macrophage by the leukocytes. Macrophages began to digest the broken cell at the injury area and secrete enzymes. They release hormones to bring more cells to the injury site.
Macrophages help to improve the growth of new blood vessels and cells to help in making new ligaments. They help to make fibroblasts which help in the actual repairing of cells. Granulation phase continues for ten days to two weeks. These fibroblasts help to create new ligaments.
Finally, in the third phase, wound contraction starts. In this phase at the injury, place new collagen deposits to form new ligaments. It creates a triple helix with the help of a strong bond. Millions of collagen wind around each other. After the removal of water, they shrink and help the skin to heal.
As explained above in Prolotherapy, we stimulate the process healing. It involves injecting proliferates for healing, which is irritants. As a result of which these proliferation help to break cell walls to stimulate healing.
Several proliferation are used like osmotic shock agents. They remove fluid from the injured site, whereas another commonly used proliferant is sodium morrhuate. When injected in the knee area, it initiates the process of prostaglandins. Or, in simple words, the formation of messengers of inflammation.
Point to remember is that all of these proliferants are injected in the fibro-osseous junction. Anesthesia is also given with the Prolotherapy injections to remove the sensation of pain. Prolotherapy works by causing artificial injury. As a result of which the natural healing mechanism of the body starts.
In the affected area, Prolotherapy makes new tissues in our case in the knee area. And after the formation of new ligaments and healing of tendons, the site becomes inflamed. Consequently, after tissues recapture the area, it goes back to its original state. In some cases, you will experience swelling and stiffness, but it will last only for some time.
What is the Success Rate of Prolotherapy?
The success rate of Prolotherapy depends on several variables. These variables include the history of the patient and his healing capability as well as the type of treatment needed. There seems to be an 85 percent to 95 percent success rate in patients of lower back pain, whereas this rate is only 52 percent with back surgery.
Similarly, for knee cartilage regeneration, Prolotherapy shows successful results. And 90 percent of patients show positive results from the treatment of Prolotherapy. It is also successful in various ligaments, tendons, and joint pain.
The best thing about Prolotherapy is it comes with minimal or zero side effects. Research shows that it is safe to use in osteoarthritis. Usually, Prolotherapy is used in sports medicines and orthopedic practices.
Usually, doctors consider Prolotherapy treatment as their conservative treatment regime. In rare cases, patients show symptoms of infection after Prolotherapy treatment. These symptoms include pain and fever, which can be treated with the use of antibiotics.
Osteoarthritis or degeneration in the knee tissues is a severe issue in elders as well as in young people. However, the good news is it can be treated through Prolotherapy. Prolotherapy uses the natural healing mechanism of a body to regenerate knee cartilage. It provides a benefit in the long-term.
It requires 3 to 6 sessions after 4 to 6 weeks for complete healing. It shows successful results and comes with no side effects. Therefore it is considered as the best treatment for knee cartilage regeneration.