Injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is very common in athletes. Surgical reconstruction of the ACL is considered the standard treatment for incomplete to complete tears. Surgery, however, is very expensive, risky, and results in a long recovery. What’s worse, in addition, is that pain often lingers and can worsen.
Fortunately, generative techniques can repair the ACL and bypass the need for surgery. In addition, ACL repair with prolotherapy has a success rate of about 85 to 90 percent (1).
First, the ACL stabilizes the knee joint and necessary for its proper movement. What’s more, this ligament helps brings together the thigh bone and leg bone. It starts in the medial wall of the lateral femoral condyle and inserts in the anterior intercondylar area of the tibia (2).
This ligament helps prevent hyperextension of the knee by stopping forward sliding of the tibia over the femur (3). Also, the ACL twists during rotation of the knee.
An injury to the ACL can range from a strain (a stretch injury) to incomplete or complete tears. It is also common in sports like football, basketball, and soccer. These sports may include sudden stopping, landing, and also sudden changes in direction. As a result, an injury may prevent an individual from every-day activity. The knee becomes weak and painful.
The ACL, like most soft tissue structures, has limited blood supply when compared to other parts of the body. This means that there is limited delivery of healing devices like oxygen, platelets, stem cells, and growth factors. To summarize, ordinary treatment for an injured ACL ranges from therapeutic exercise to surgical reconstruction but ordinarily doesn’t mean necessary.
Prolotherapy injections involve the delivery of solutions that promote healing at the site of injury- the ACL in this case. This will cause localized inflammation and the recruitment of the healing mechanism to the area for repair.
How does it work? Well, inflammation is an immune response to repair the injury and quarantine infection. Re-stimulating inflammation means re-stimulating healing. This involves the recruitment of stem cells, growth factors, and fibroblasts. Therefore, the result is restored connective tissue, an increase in size, and tightening of the injured ligament.
Unlike surgery, prolotherapy injections are minimally invasive, less risky, cheaper, and more effective. Also, patients experience mild to moderate pain after each treatment and remain functional enough to drive themselves home (1). After a complete series of treatment, most patients return to their normal lives and continue practicing sports (4).
- Van Pelt, Rodney S. “Prolotherapy Technique on Injecting the Anterior Cruciate Ligament.” Journal of Prolotherapy, 28 Sept. 2018, journalofprolotherapy.com/prolotherapy-technique-on-injecting-the-anterior-cruciate-ligament/.
- Petersen, W., and B. Tillmann. “Anatomie Und Funktion Des Vorderen Kreuzbandes- Anatomy and Function of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament.” SpringerLink, Springer-Verlag, 15 July 2014, link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00132-002-0330-0. English Abstract- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12426749
- Ain, et al. “A Review on Biomechanics of Anterior Cruciate Ligament and Materials for Reconstruction.” Applied Bionics and Biomechanics, Hindawi, 13 May 2018, www.hindawi.com/journals/abb/2018/4657824/.
- Grote, Walter, et al. “Repair of a Complete Anterior Cruciate Tear Using Prolotherapy: a Case Report.” International Musculoskeletal Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Dec. 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2929023/.