Prolotherapy is categorized in the medical field as Regenerative Medicine. This specialty medicine is exactly what it sounds like: promoting regeneration of tissue. It involves the use of natural substances that stimulate your body to heal an injury rather than using surgery to repair or replace your injured ligaments or joints. This growing medical speprololigamentscialty has been around since the 1950’s and has a huge fan-base with professional athletes since it is agreat alternative to surgery and requires little to no down-time.
Healthy Feet Podiatry is one of the few practices in the Tampa Bay area which offers this service to patients and has been using Prolotherapy for over 7 years.
Prolotherapy is a treatment offered at Healthy Feet Podiatry and involves a series of specialized injections which stimulate an inflammatory response initiating healing in an area of injury. You may suffer from plantar fasciitis, ankle ligament, tendon injuries or arthritic joints and take medications such as Advil or have attempted steroid injections which may only provide temporary relief. While most patients show positive responses to these standard conservative treatment options, some patients continue to have pain or repeat injuries. When these options fail, most surgeons recommend surgery as the final treatment option.
At Healthy Feet Podiatry we believe Prolotherapy is an excellent alternative to steroid injections and surgery! Although surgical services are provided by our doctors, we understand the reluctance that you may have about surgery. Most surgeries require down-time including time off work, and surgery always has a risk of complications afterwards. During your initial consultation, the doctor will perform an exam and evaluate standard conservative treatment options prior to discussion of Prolotherapy, since it is most often used after initial conservative efforts have provided minimal relief. However, Prolotherapy is often used as a first line treatment for those patients who would like to avoid steroids. The treatments are often used in combination with musculoskeletal laser and custom arch supports or orthotics.
The treatments are performed in the office. No sedation or anesthesia is required except for use of cold spray and a small amount of local anesthesia to numb the skin in the area of the injection. The Prolotherapy injection consists of a specially prepared mixture of all natural substances including dextrose and an anesthetic solution that is injected into the area of interest (i.e. plantar fascia, ligament or joint). To enhance accuracy, ultrasound is used to visualize guidance of the injection right into the area of interest. Once the Prolotherapy solution has been injected, the body will begin to create an inflammatory response to the solution and sends growth factors and other cells that promote healing to the area. The new tissue laid down in the previously injured area produces increased stability and strength to the tendon, joint or ligament. Patients may have discomfort 1-3 days after the injection. Depending on the area being injected patients are sometimes placed in a walking boot to provide stability and decrease motion at the injection area for optimal healing; however, other times Prolotherapy works best when the area is allowed to move and enhances the healing cascade. Your doctor will discuss which is best for you during your consultation. Most patients will have an injection 1-2 weeks apart for a total of 4-6 injections.
Below is a list of foot and ankle problems that have shown great response to Prolotherapy. If you suffer from chronic pain in your foot or ankle and have not responded well to conservative treatment or are reluctant to have steroid injections or surgery, you are likely excellent candidate for Prolotherapy. Almost any type of injury, tendinitis or arthritic pain can be improved with its use, and there are rarely any contraindications, adverse effects or complications.