Local Medical IssuesTorn ligament? Get Prolotherapy!
Surgery is not your only choice for torn or sprained cruciate ligaments in dogs and cats. Prolotherapy, or proliferative therapy, can rebuild and repair injured connective tissue. It stimulates mild inflammation, which attracts growth factors to the area. This results in ligaments that are 30-40% stronger.
In a cruciate ligament tear, partial or full, the prolo solution is injected into the knee joint and surrounding ligaments with a small gauge needle. This creates tightening and stabilization of the joint, better function, and less main. The solution contains dextrose, which stimulates mild inflammation; procaine, a local anesthetic; vitamin B-12, for pain; bicarb, to take the sting out; and Traumeel, a homeopathic for pain that aids in healing.
This relatively short procedure can be performed awake with a calm, stoic dog. However, we prefer sedation for the first treatment to adequately evaluate the joint and get x-rays if needed. The average number of treatments required is 3-6, however, we usually see results within 1-2 treatments and rarely need to do three in total. Treatments can be spaced 2-4 weeks apart.
The goal is to minimize arthritis and restore functional use of the leg. Prolotherapy can also be used for hip dysplasia, patella luxation, and chronic lumbar subluxations.
Herbs and homeopathics are often prescribed to support healing and help with pain control.
Prevention of ligament tears includes weight management, exercise to strengthen and condition muscles and ligaments, and a diet with good quality protein and some organ meat.