Collagen and Degenerative Knee Pain

March 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Knee Pain

When the doctor says: “I am recommending surgery, ultimately you will probably need a knee replacement due to the damage in there.” There are two choices to make when the doctor says these words to you. One, accept your destiny and continue to live with an unstable and painful knee until the surgeon calls, or find a solution to your pain now.

To someone wearing a knee brace, who regularly tapes ice on their knee and takes prescribed and over-the-counter pain medication, what else could there be but surgery? How about Prolotherapy?

Prolotherapy works on all knee problems with excellent results. Only in the case of a completely torn ligament is Prolotherapy somewhat limited. If there is a partial tear (sometimes on MRI these may look like complete tears), Prolotherapy can reconstruct the ligament and strengthen the joint.

But even with a complete tear, prolotherapy is extremely beneficial because an impact with enough force to completely rupture a ligament will also loosen the entire knee structure. Prolotherapy in this situation can strengthen the surrounding tissues giving the patient/athlete a better chance of long-term success.

It is rare that a patient who is not active in sports or a competitive athlete needs ACL surgery. Many athletes function on an ACL deficient knee.

There are certainly instances in life when surgery is called for, but not nearly as often as it is currently performed. Even so-called “minor” surgery takes a drastic toll on the human body, physically traumatizing and permanently altering its structures, often to its detriment.

Is Prolotherapy The Answer To Chronic Knee Pain?

Prolotherapy is short for “proliferation therapy,” Proliferation, of course, means “rapid production.” What Prolotherapy rapidly produces is collagen and cartilage. Collagen is a naturally occurring protein in the body that is a necessary element for the formation of new connective tissue that holds the skeletal infrastructure together. These include, tendons, ligaments, muscle fascia and joint capsular tissue.

Prolotherapy helps make collagen through a series of injections, not of collagen, but of mild chemical or natural (such as dextrose-sugar) irritants, that stimulates the immune system’s healing mechanism to produce collagen naturally. Making collagen makes for strengthened and restored joints. Restored and strengthened joints makes for permanent pain relief.

In non-injured ligaments or tendons, collagen fibers are flexible and have some elasticity. But, they are not supposed to stretch very far. Injuries can stretch these fibers beyond their designed lengths. Or, wear and tear through repetitive motion can fray or tear them. When these tissues are stretched beyond their normal limits, wear out, or tear, pain is perceived.

Inflammation produces pain, which is a sign the body’s healing process is occurring. So initially, inflammation occurs as the body tries to heal the damage. Since the tendons and ligaments have a poor and limited blood supply, it is important not to shut down the initial inflammatory response. Shutting down the inflammation is equivalent to shutting down the healing cycle and YOU prevent yourself from healing correctly. In all cases that require Prolotherapy, the ligaments and tendons, whether through the use of anti-inflammatories, or because of a weakened immune system, or because of the severity of the injury, did not heal sufficiently. Injured, loose, or stretched out ligaments are often referred to as the condition of ligament relaxation, or ligament laxity. This is what produces the pain and discomfort, especially with movement because the connection of the ligament or tendon to the bone may be inflamed and the joint may move beyond its normal range of motion.



Total Knee Replacement – The Best Option For Everyone?
Researchers writing in the medical journal Knee say “there is increasing evidence, based on research using patient-based outcome measures, that a significant proportion of patients experience chronic knee pain, functional disability, a poor quality of life and dissatisfaction after TKR.”

Wylde V, Dieppe P, Hewlett S, Learmonth ID. Total knee replacement: Is it really an effective procedure for all? Knee.2007 Jun 25

Written by Dr. Marc Darrow, M.D.

Marc Darrow, M.D., J.D., utilizes Stem Cell Therapy, Platatelt Rich Plasma Therapy, and Prolotherapy for the treatment of chronoc joint and back pain. Dr. Marc Darrow is a Board Certified Physiatrist specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

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Prolotherapy, PRP, AGE MANAGEMENT MEDICINE, and other modalities mentioned are medical techniques that may not be considered mainstream. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication that you will heal or receive the same outcome as patients herein. There could be pain or substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.
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