What is prolozone therapy?
Prolozone therapy is an injectable joint therapy designed to relieve pain. A solution is injected that causes an increased production of connective tissue (mesodermal cells). The subsequent increase in thickness and strength of the connective tissue stabilizes the joint, thus relieving pain.
How does prolozone therapy work?
Lameness is due to joint instability, or joint laxity. The instability or laxity is usually due to trauma of some sort (excessive jumping and/or landing, fast stops and turns etc.). The laxity produces joint weakness, inflammation, and pain. The procedure works whether or not the joint has arthritis (degenerative joint disease) or not. This is because the calcification does not produce the pain to the degree that capsular inflammation does. It is for this reason that it is beneficial to many of our older canine patients.
The solution creates a situation of low grade inflammation, not enough to cause increased soreness, but enough to stimulate the production of mesodermal cells. These cells increase the strength and thickness of the soft tissue components. Therefore, this type of treatment is a type of stem cell therapy. The increased strength and thickness results in joint stability. As joint stability is achieved, the pain diminishes.
Which injuries respond the best to prolozone therapy and how long does it take to achieve a response?
Each injection tightens the joint by about 22%. Satisfactory results are achieved in between 3 to 5 treatments, usually administered at monthly intervals, depending on which joint is involved. Knee injuries (anterior cruciate ligament and patellar luxation injuries) respond very well, as do arthritic hip joints. Arthritic shoulders and carpi (wrists) also respond very well. Elbows can be effectively treated early, but prolozone therapy is less effective in chronic cases. Weak backs and necks can also respond well to prolozone therapy.
What does a treatment consist of?
The dog is examined, and then sedated with a short acting, reversible sedation. The appropriate joint is treated with a mixture of Procaine, Dextrose and various homeopathics that benefit good joint health. An injection of antibiotics is given. The sedation is then reversed and the dog wakes quickly. The entire procedure is completed within 30 to 40 minutes.