Tore my meniscus in June and doc wants to scope, but am looking for alternatives. Friend of mine has had amazing luck with prolotherapy and PRP injections. I found a couple of contacts here in town, but wondered if any of you 'Fixers out there had any similar experience...good or bad.
Prolotherapy saved me after I was hit on my bike by a car that ran a stop sign. I didn't break anything, but I had sharp low back pain that didn't respond to treatment by chiropracters, physical therapists and a number of orthopedic mds. I even went to a sports medicine practice in San Francisco bay area that supposedly treated the local football teams. That md injected my spinal facet joints with steroids -- to no avail.
My accident attorney said that another bike-injury client had good things to say about a doctor who did prolotherapy, so I went also. Dr.Richard Gracer in Moraga, CA, diagnosed me with stretched/torn ligaments between my low back and pelvis. He injected the prolo solution a number of times and I had tremendous relief. Of course the insurance attorneys all claimed that I was fabricating the pain, since I hadn't broken a bone. That was back in 1988, and to date I'm fine. I'm 55 and still do a lot of road riding, and don't have any back problems (although I have to keep my hamstrings and calf muscles stretched).
I tried to tell my other doctors about this treatment, and of course they were not interested, particularly the orthopedic mds. Apparently this kind of treatment doesn't jive with what they learned in med school. They'd rather do surgery or send you to the physical therapy mill. Dr. Gracer had a number of research papers for me to read, including articles from the Lancet and other european med journals.
Dr. Gracer may be retired by now, and unfortunately I don't know of any local md doing prolotherapy. Just wanted to tell you my experience. You might want to do some internet searches, because I recall there was a national prolo organization.
I had prolotherapy for "wiggly" knees and it was phenomenal. Dr. Kaufman did the trick and I made him my Doctor but, I can attest I'm not satisfied with his manner - or his clinic. His Integrative Medicine clinic is supposed to have an all encompassing view of healthcare and they've made some fascinating reccomends that I've like but I'm trying to find another TRULY Integrative Health Care professional in ABQ - have you found anyone else?
There are essentially no blood vessels in a meniscus, so this method wouldn't really work that well, if it did at all for other injuries. (I believe the method you're looking at works by injecting a mild irritant into the injured part so your body increases the blood supply.) I've had three meniscus knee surgeries - one the old fashion way (opening up the knee) and two that just involved scoping - the first took two months to heal until I could walk comfortably, and the last two - maybe a couple of days. After all three, you lightly stress out the knee to form scar tissue to replace the cartilage, then it's good to go. It's been 30, 25 and 20 years since the surgeries, and my knees haven't squawked. I don't run, but I do play tennis and other court games, and bike a lot, so it's not the end of an active life to have part of a meniscus removed.
However, prior to surgery, my knee would lock up at the worse possible times, sometimes for a whole day (I couldn't even drive home...) , so you should think twice about trying some alternative fixes that probably couldn't work. Scope surgery is fast and easy these days....
My "wiggly" knees were some semi-attached (or semi-detached) ligaments and the "mild irritant" promoted increased blood supply and particularly a high dose of white (I think) cells that help generate growth of connective tissue. From that perspective I believe you are correct with regard to the applicability to meniscus.
My friend had some prolotherapy done by Dr. Aaron Kaufman and was pleased with the results. Good luck!
I did end up getting prolo from Kaufman. One to the ACL and one to my injured meniscus. Jury is still out on the overall results. I did run a 5K recently and the knee felt strong.