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Background: Prolotherapy with dextrose has recently gained attention as a potential treatment for muscle, ligament or tendon pathology/injury.
Questions/Purpose: This review aimed to: 1) evaluate the main outcome of dextrose prolotherapy treatment for muscle, ligament or tendon pathology/injury; 2) determine the concentrations of dextrose and protocol of injection; and 3) assess complications or adverse effects after dextrose prolotherapy.
Methods: Four electronic databases were searched for related published articles. Articles that met the following criteria were included in this review: 1) articles on peer-reviewed level 1 to 4 studies; 2) articles published in English; 3) articles on dextrose prolotherapy study for tendon or ligament or muscle injury/pathology; and 5) articles that describe dose of dextrose. Published articles that met this inclusion criteria were included in this systematic review.
Results: Twenty four studies fulfilled inclusion criteria,consisting of seventeen clinical studies, four animal studies and three invitro studies. Eleven studies reported there were improvement of functional outcome after dextrose prolotherapy. Three Studies reported improvement of patient satisfaction after dextroprolotherapy in supraspinatus tear, Achilles tendinopathy. And patellar tendinopathy, meniscus tear and anterior tibiofibular ligament tear. Three studies reported there are increasing of neovascularization in Achilles tendinopathy and patellar tendinopathy in animal studies, increasing of inflammatory response in animal studies and in vitro studies and increasing of cell proliferation and collagen production. Nine studies (52%) use dextrose 25% concentration. A few adverse effects were reported and minor effect, such as discomfort Minor soreness, extreme pain, skin burns 2nd grade, hypotension, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) ( patient has history DVT).
Conclusions: Dextrose Prolotherapy is a potentially effective treatment for patients with muscle, tendon or ligament tear or pathology. Efficacy in long term follow-up, as single therapy or first-line therapy cannot be determined from the current literature.
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