Prolotherapy is the injection of a solution to stimulate the growth of new cells to heal painful areas. Ligaments are the most common sites for injections although muscles, tendons and spinal facet joints can also be treated.

The injections consist of a mixture of a local anaesthetic and Dextrose. The Dextrose solution is a strong enough concentration to irritate the area of concern. This stimulates mild inflammation in the area, which is the first part of the healing process.

Post Procedure Treatment

First 72 hours: The treatment area is painful for the first several hours after the procedure. This is normal, however, swelling and pain are often the resulting side effects.

Taking anti-inflammatory drugs or applying ice is not advised. You will be given instructions regarding the type of pain medication to take from the attending Radiologist or alternatively speak with your Doctor prior to your procedure about pain management.
Avoid ANY increased activity or exercises for the first 2 weeks post procedure. You may complete normal daily activities as tolerated. Stretching can be done as often as needed. Seek profession advice on proper stretching. Although rare, infection at the treatment site is always possible. If fever or redness and/or swelling of the skin after 72 hours is noted, consult your doctor.

4-7 days post procedure: The pain should diminish. Continue to use body part with everyday activities still avoiding heavy lifting or rigorous activity. Make sure an appointment has been made for the proper physical therapy to begin rehabilitation.

2 weeks: Begin exercise and a rehabilitation program.

4+ weeks: It is expected that rehabilitation should take a minimum of 6 – 12 weeks. Individual patient response will be different and dependent on the specific procedure and body part treated. Complete recovery can take up to 2 years so it is important to comply with the recommended physical therapy protocol.

A moderate amount of discomfort can be expected due to the process of inflammation and is how the procedure provides benefit. Inflammation results in the potential repair of the damaged tissue. If pain is severe, contact your family doctor to discuss the use of additional pain medication. Make sure to advise your family doctor of the type of procedure you have received as you will require a medication that does not possess anti-inflammatory properties.

If after the rehabilitation has been completed and you still have residual pain then a repeat injection may be recommended.

If you have had no benefit after this procedure, please contact your family physician as a plan may already be in place. Your doctor may contact our clinic for further advice.

EFW Radiology Offers Prolotherapy in Calgary

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MSK Regeneration and Performance Centre

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