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Osteoarthritis Knee TreatmentOsteoarthritis Knee Treatment

Your knee hurts. But you don’t want surgery. Now what? We see many patients trying to avoid surgery. Some come because they injured their knee and are looking for repair to get back to their game. But many have arthritis pain. Their knee grinds and cracks and hurts. Plus, the arthritis symptoms limit their activity level, and they are looking for an osteoarthritis knee treatment to increase their function again.

Most have already tried pain medications and therapies, but the symptoms continue. Their orthopedic surgeon has likely recommended surgery, but is surgery the only option?

Some have even had surgery already, but their pain continues. So what’s the solution? We recommend Regenerative Orthopedics!

What Can Regenerative Orthopedics Offer for Knee Osteoarthritis?

Regenerative Orthopedic treatments, like Prolotherapy, have been found to improve osteoarthritis pain. The journal Orthopedic Reviews says, “Numerous clinical trials show significant improvement of osteoarthritic pain of the knee without any significant side effects reported following the use of prolotherapy…the results consistently show significant improvement in radiographic outcomes, pain scores, and quality of life with prolotherapy treatment.” (1)

That’s excellent news. But it’s only one study!

Is There More Research on the Effectiveness of Prolotherapy?

In 2022, the journal Clinical Rehabilitation looked at the effectiveness of Prolotherapy for knee osteoarthritis patients. The results? Prolotherapy had favorable results, yielding a greater reduction in pain scores over placebo and achieving comparable pain and function outcomes to other invasive therapies. (2)

We’ve mentioned in previous articles that Prolotherapy is not a new treatment. It is gaining popularity lately, along with other regenerative therapies, but it has been around for quite some time. Back in the 1950s, Dr. George Hackett demonstrated Prolotherapy’s effectiveness in treating ligament damage. His research showed that ligament damage caused joint instability, which led to the eventual osteoarthritis in a joint.

One of the reasons Prolotherapy is so effective for knee arthritis is because it addresses the entire knee and the instability from ligament damage. The instability that leads to arthritis is the same instability that is addressed with Prolotherapy. Often, it’s not just one ligament that is damaged. If the force during the original injury was significant enough to damage one ligament, other ligaments, and joint structures were likely affected. And these all need to be treated.

Knee osteoarthritis is a progressive disease. It did not just happen overnight! The weak and injured ligaments cause the joint to move abnormally. That abnormal movement causes forces on the knee joint to change, leading to more and more joint damage. Eventually, degeneration in the joint destroys the cartilage…and arthritis becomes apparent.

Again, the good news is that Prolotherapy addresses the entire knee joint, repairing all the involved soft tissue structures.

Prolotherapy Is An Effective Osteoarthritis Knee Treatment

The journal Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease says, “Prolotherapy has been reported as a useful method in treating chronic musculoskeletal and joint diseases. It is proposed that Prolotherapy causes mild inflammation and cell stress in the weakened ligament or tendon area, releases cytokines and growth factors, and induces a new healing cascade in that area, which leads to the activation of fibroblasts, generation of collagen precursors and strengthening of the connective tissue.” (3)

Another study in the Annals of Family Medicine reports these findings about Prolotherapy for knee osteoarthritis: “Intra-articular dextrose Prolotherapy injections reduced pain, improved function and quality of life in patients with knee osteoarthritis compared with blinded saline injections. The procedure is straightforward and safe; the adherence and satisfaction were high.” (4)

And evidence even suggests that Prolotherapy can help with cartilage growth.

The Researchers from the University of Southern California say this, “(Prolotherapy) solution appears to be associated with the increased metabolic activity of chondrocytes (cells that make cartilage), increased collagen deposition, and increased chondrocyte proliferation. These results support clinical Prolotherapy research suggesting that intra-articular hypertonic dextrose joint injections reduce knee pain.”

All of this research suggests that Prolotherapy is a viable treatment for knee osteoarthritis.

We recommend comprehensively treating the knee with regenerative treatment directed at all of the involved structures. Remember that osteoarthritis does not happen suddenly but is a degenerative process that occurs over time. To achieve optimal results, all of the involved structures need to be treated. Prolotherapy is a safe and effective treatment option that addresses soft tissue damage and degeneration resulting in the repair of the osteoarthritic knee.

Knee osteoarthritis is one of the most common complaints that we see at OrthoRegen®. Regenerative Orthopedics are excellent osteoarthritis knee treatments because they address the root cause of what started the osteoarthritic progression…structural damage to the soft tissue of the knee that leads to degenerative changes in the knee. Stop the degenerative process with regenerative injection treatments such as Prolotherapy, PRP, and Stem Cells.


  • Zhao AT, Caballero CJ, Nguyen LT, Vienne HC, Lee C, Kaye AD. A Comprehensive Update of Prolotherapy in the Management of Osteoarthritis of the Knee. Orthopedic Reviews. 2022 May 31;14(4):33921.
  • Chen YW, Lin YN, Chen HC, Liou TH, Liao CD, Huang SW. Effectiveness, Compliance, and Safety of Dextrose Prolotherapy for Knee Osteoarthritis: A Meta-Analysis and Metaregression of Randomized Controlled Trials. Clinical Rehabilitation. 2022 Jun;36(6):740-52.
  • Eslamian F, Amouzandeh B. Therapeutic effects of prolotherapy with intra-articular dextrose injection in patients with moderate knee osteoarthritis: a single-arm study with 6 months follow-up. Ther Adv Musculoskelet Dis. 2015 Apr;7(2):35-44.
  • Shan Sit RW, Keung Wu RW, Rabago D, et al. Efficacy of Intra-Articular Hypertonic Dextrose (Prolotherapy) for Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Ann Fam Med. 2020;18(3):235‐242. doi:10.1370/afm.2520