knee-cruciate-ligament_imagelargeDr. Ilsley uses Prolotherapy for painful joints and spinal segments when acupuncture and other therapies have not been effective.

Prolotherapy (Proliferative Therapy), also know as Non-Surgical Ligament and Tendon Reconstruction and Regenerative Joint Injection, is a recognized orthopedic procedure that stimulates the body’s healing processes to strengthen and repair injured and painful joints and connective tissue. It is based on the fact that when ligaments or tendons (connective tissue) are stretched or torn, the joint they are holding destabilizes and can become painful. Prolotherapy, with its unique ability to directly address the cause of the instability, can repair the weakened sites and produce new collagen tissue, resulting in permanent stabilization of the joint. Once the joint is stabilized, pain usually resolves. Traditional approaches with surgery have more risk and may fail to stabilize the joint and relieve pain, and anti-inflammatory or other pain relievers only act temporarily.

How does Prolotherapy work?
Prolotherapy works by stimulating the body’s natural healing mechanisms to lay down new tissue in the weakened area. This is done by a very directed injection to the injury site, “tricking” the body to repair again. The mild inflammatory response, which is created by the injection, encourages growth of new normal ligament or tendon fibers resulting in a “tightening” of the weakened structure. Additional treatments repeat this process, allowing a gradual buildup of tissue to restore the original strength to the area.

What is in the solution that is injected?
Prolotherapy injections contain natural substances that stimulate the healing response, as well as local anesthetic agents to help with the pain of the injection. Traditional formulas include ingredients such as dextrose, saline, sarapin and procaine or lidocaine. Dr. Ilsley tailors the selection of the appropriate formula according to the patient’s need.

Is the Prolotherapy treatment painful?
Any pain involving an injection will vary according to the structure or joint treated, the choice of solution, and the skill of the physician administering the injection. The treatment may result in a temporary increase in pain with mild swelling and stiffness. The discomfort usually passes fairly quickly and can also be reduced with pain relievers such as Tylenol or other prescribed medication. Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, are not recommended for pain relief because their action suppresses the desired inflammatory healing process produced by the prolotherapy injections.

Is there research to back this up?

Here is the a 2016 systematic review consisting of fourteen RCTs, 1 case-control study, and 18 case series studies.

Here is the conclusion of the review:

“Use of dextrose prolotherapy is supported for treatment of tendinopathies, knee and finger joint OA, and spinal/pelvic pain due to ligament dysfunction. Efficacy in acute pain, as first-line therapy, and in myofascial pain cannot be determined from the literature.”

How much does it cost?
This depends on how many areas of treatment and how many sessions are needed. We do bill insurance and in some cases the procedure will be partially covered. Please contact the clinic for further information: 503-282-5358.