Context • Use of dextrose prolotherapy. Prolotherapy is defined as injection that causes growth of normal cells or tissue.
Objective • Determine the 1 and 3 year efficacy of dextrose injection prolotherapy on anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) laxity. After year 1, determine patient tolerance of a stronger dextrose concentration (25% versus 10%).
Design • Prospective consecutive patient trial.
Setting • Outpatient physical medicine clinic.
Patients or other participants • Eighteen patients with 6 months or more of knee pain plus ACL knee laxity. This laxity was defined by a KT1000 anterior displacement difference (ADD) of 2 mm or more.
Intervention • Intraarticular injection of 6-9 cc of 10% dextrose at months 0, 2 ,4, 6, and 10. Injection with 6 cc of 25% dextrose at 12 months. Then, depending on patient preference, injection of either 10% or 25% dextrose every 2-4 months (based on patient preference) through 36 months.
Main Outcome Measures • Visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain at rest, pain on level surfaces, pain on stairs, and swelling. Goniometric flexion range of motion, and KT1000-measured ADD were also measured. All measurements were obtained at 0,6,12 and 36 months.
Results • Two patients did not reach 6 month data collection, 1 of whom was diagnosed with disseminated cancer. The second was wheelchair-bound and found long-distance travel to the clinic problematic. Sixteen subjects were available for data analysis. KT1000 ADD. measurement indicated that 6 knees measured as normal (not loose) after 6 months, 9 measured as normal after 1 year (6 injections), and 10 measured as normal at 3 years. At the 3 year follow-up, pain at rest, pain with walking, and pain with stair use had improved by 45%, 43% , and 35% respectively, Individual paired t tests indicated subjective swelling improved 63% (P = .017), flexion range of motion improved by 10.5 degrees (P = .002), and KT1000 ADD improved by 71% (P = .002). Eleven out of 16 patients preferred 10% dextrose injection.
Conclusion • In patients with symptomatic anterior cruciate ligament laxity, intermittent dextrose injection resulted in clinically and statistically significant improvement in ACL laxity, pain, swelling, and knee range of motion. (Altern Ther Health Med.