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Orthop Rev (Pavia)



A Comprehensive Update of Prolotherapy in the Management of Osteoarthritis of the Knee.


Zhao A T, Caballero CJ, Nguyen LT, Vienne HC, Lee C, Kaye AD
Orthop Rev (Pavia). 2022; 14(4):33921.
PMID: 35769650.


This is a comprehensive review of the literature focusing on the use of prolotherapy in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee. It covers the background, efficacy, and advantages of prolotherapy in the management of osteoarthritis symptoms and then covers the existing evidence of the use of prolotherapy for this purpose. Current treatments for osteoarthritis of the knee are numerous, yet patients continue to endorse chronic pain and poor quality of life. Prolotherapy is a treatment that has been inadequately studied with poor sample sizes and lack of standardization between trials. However, in recent years the literature on prolotherapy in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis has grown. Although there is still a lack of homogeneity, trials have shown that dextrose prolotherapy, autologous conditioned serum, hyaluronic injections, and normal saline administered either intra- or peri-articularly are comparable in reducing pain scores to other primary treatment options. The mechanism of action for prolotherapy is still unclear, but researchers have found that prolotherapy plays some role in cartilage growth or chondrogenesis and has been shown to have improved radiographic outcomes. Prolotherapy appears to be a safe treatment alternative that has been shown to improve stiffness, pain, function, and quality of life in osteoarthritis of the knee. Knee osteoarthritis is remarkably prevalent in the United States and is one of the most common causes of disability in the elderly population. Although there are many treatment options, patients continue to live with chronic pain which can incur high costs for patients. A safe, long-term, and effective solution has not yet been identified. Prolotherapy has been shown to be a safe option for improving pain, function, and quality of life as effectively as other treatment options.