Surgery-Free Joint Repair? Tell me more!

Does your pet display or have any of the following conditions?

  • Arthritis
  • Degenerative Joint Disease
  • Torn Ligament
  • Tendonitis
  • Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Partially degenerated or Herniated Inter-Vertebral Disks

Prolotherapy, also known as nonsurgical ligament reconstruction, is a medical treatment for chronic pain. “Prolo” is short for proliferation, because the treatment causes the proliferation (growth, formation) of new connective tissue in areas where it has become weak. Prolotherapy involves an injection, usually of a mixture of medications, into the affected area or joint. The medications most commonly contained in the prolotherapy compound are geared towards pain relief, ligament and tendon reconstruction and regeneration and to generate faster healing. The solution causes the growth of new connective tissue, helping to stabilize the joint and provide relief from pain. The injection is actually a series of injections, performed once every three weeks for a total of five treatments.

It is important to note that prolotherapy is not a substitute for surgery; not all pets are candidates for this type of medical procedure. Each case is evaluated on an individual basis, and an examination is required to determine if prolotherapy is an appropriate therapy for your pet.

Beneficial for Both Cats and Dogs

Prolotherapy can be performed on both dogs and cats, however it is used most commonly in middle-aged to geriatric dogs. Most owners report a 50-80% reduction in pain within the first 3 treatments.

The type of patient for which prolotherapy is appropriate includes, but is not limited to:

  • Patients with chronic osteoarthritis pain that involves one or more joints; often these pets have lameness involving the front and rear legs.
  • Geriatric patients with chronic arthritis or joint pain that are a high anesthetic risk, patients with an injury or tear of one or both cranial cruciate ligaments. Prolotherapy treatment can protect the cruciate ligament in the non-surgical leg from rupture in cases where one ligament has already been repaired.
  • Patients post-surgery with genetic orthopedic disease (hip, shoulder and elbow dysplasia) and chronic lameness and pain despite surgical correction.
  • Performance animals (agility, working dogs) with ligament or tendon injuries.
  • Patients that are sensitive or have adverse reactions to conventional pain medications (Rimadyl, Dermaxx etc), or for which pain medications are ineffective.

Is prolotherapy painful?

Prolotherapy treatments are mildly painful. Following the procedure, some patients may experience transient soreness for 24-48 hours.

How long does a prolotherapy treatment take to perform?

In general, prolotherapy treatments are 5-10 minutes in duration depending on the patient’s condition and the number of joints being treated.

How many prolotherapy treatments will my animal need?

The number of treatments depends on the age, severity of the disease or condition being treated, and the individual patinet’s response to the treatment. In general, most dogs and cats require 5 treatments each performed 3 weeks apart. Larger patients with joint disease of both the front and rear legs and those with severe arthritis or degenerative joint disease will require more treatments than those with less severe disease.

How soon after prolotherapy can my pet exercise?

It is recommended to leash walk dogs within 24 hours after prolotherapy. Many dogs feel so much better after a prolotherapy treatment that they will over-exercise unless restricted and can worsen their condition. No running or jumping is recommended during the duration of the treatments until instructed to increase the exercise.

For more information on prolotherapy or to schedule an assessment to determine if your pet is a candidate for prolotherapy, please call our office from 8am-5pm M-F and 8am-12pm on Saturday at 515-274-3811.

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