The Use of Prolotherapy for Chondromalacia Patella (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome)

Havil S. Maddela, BS, MPH, CPH & Ross Hauser, MD. The Use of Prolotherapy for Chondromalacia Patella (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome). Journal of Prolotherapy. 2018;10:e1000-e1008.


Chondromalacia patella is a musculoskeletal pain disorder in which degeneration of cartilage underneath the patella can induce symptoms of pain, stiffness, and crepitus. If left untreated, it can often lead to knee osteoarthritis. Current treatments for chondromalacia patella (physical therapy, NSAIDs, etc.) are often ineffective and sometimes detrimental to the health of the knee. A proposed, alternative treatment currently provided to some patients is Prolotherapy, an injection technique used to stimulate the growth of new cells, including connective tissue. However, due to lack of research proving the treatment’s efficacy, health care policies refuse to cover treatment costs. The purpose of this study is to expand upon findings in a previous study, providing empirical evidence regarding improvements of chondromalacia-related symptoms following Prolotherapy treatment. This retrospective cohort study followed the progress of 69 patients with chondromalacia patella who chose to receive Prolotherapy for their knees. A paired sample t-test was used to confirm changes in six indicators of the patient’s condition (pain level at rest, pain level with normal activity, pain level during exercise, stiffness level, range of motion, level of crepitus) following Prolotherapy as measured in VAS scores. The results showed that there was a statistically significant improvement for all six measures (p<0.01). These findings indicate that symptoms of chondromalacia patella were reduced among patients who received Prolotherapy treatment and Prolotherapy should be considered as an alternative treatment. Further research is necessary to demonstrate the full efficacy and cost-benefit of the treatment, which may lead to the re-evaluation of health care policies regarding Prolotherapy use and coverage in regards to chondromalacia patella.

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