Proliferative injection therapy for osteoarthritis: a systematic review

Proliferative injection therapy for osteoarthritis: a systematic review

Abstract

Purpose: To systematically analyse randomised controlled trials (RCTs) about efficacy and safety of proliferative injection therapy (prolotherapy) for treatment of osteoarthritis (OA).

Methods: CENTRAL, Embase and MEDLINE were searched. Two reviewers independently conducted screening and data extraction. RCTs were assessed with the Cochrane risk of bias tool. Type of treatment, study design, dosing, efficacy outcomes and safety outcomes were analysed. The protocol was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42016035258).

Results: Seven RCTs were included, with 393 participants aged 40-75 years and mean OA pain duration from three months to eight years. Follow-up was 12 weeks to 12 months. Studies analysed OA of the knee joint (n = 5), first carpometacarpal joint (n = 1) and finger joints (n = 1). Various types of prolotherapy were used; dextrose was the most commonly used irritant agent. All studies concluded that prolotherapy was effective treatment for OA. No serious adverse events were reported. The studies had considerable methodological limitations.

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