Trauma Surgeon Turned Prolotherapist: An Interview with José Eleazar Calderón de la Fuente, MD

By Joseph J. Cukla, LPN & José Eleazar Calderón de la Fuente MD

Dr. José Eleazar Calderón de la Fuente is a well known orthopedic/trauma surgeon in the city of Monclova, Mexico, who has been doing Prolotherapy for over ten years. He was performing fifteen to twenty surgeries per week before he discovered Prolotherapy. He primarily operated on knees and low backs, but also did his fair share of shoulder and elbow surgeries. The diagnoses for these arthroscopic and non-arthroscopic procedures would frequently be osteoarthritis and/or degenerative or ligament insufficiency.

Dr. Calderón met Ross Hauser, MD in Mexico when Dr. Hauser was there teaching a seminar on Prolotherapy at the invitation of pathologist Dr. Pepe Salazar, whose wife, Sophia Gutierrez, DDS, was treated by Dr. Hauser in the United States. When she was seen by Dr. Hauser, she was incapacitated by her pain. Drs. Calderón and Salazar were very good friends and Sophia had been a patient of Dr. Calderón for her severely degenerated knees. Her case was non-surgical, thus she was given no more treatment options, as he or others doctors she had seen could do nothing more for her.

Dr. Calderón was invited to the seminar in Toluca, a suburb of Mexico City, but was very skeptical of these syringes with the “magical water” that could cure pain. He was more interested in visiting Toluca than in hearing Dr. Hauser speak, but he decided to drop by as a favor to Dr. Salazar. He had became more interested in Prolotherapy after he observed the dramatic improvements in Sophia, thinking maybe there was something to it, but also realizing that there could be other reasons behind her improvement.

With Dr. Salazar’s urging, he decided to bring Prolotherapy into his practice, still not fully believing Prolotherapy could become a successful treatment option for his patients. Dr. Calderón treated his first patient with Prolotherapy, a man with a terribly arthritic back who was not a surgical candidate. What did he have to lose? Lo and behold, the man returned a few weeks later reporting 75% improvement.Ten thousand Prolotherapy patients later, Dr. Calderón is now Mexico’s leading proponent of Prolotherapy, with his own popular website: (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Dr. Calderón performing Prolotherapy on a lumbar pain patient with spondylolithesis at L4, L5.

“Ninety-five percent of the patients I see now are for Prolotherapy. In fact, my arthroscopic equipment is for sale,” stated Dr. Calderón. (See Figure 2.) “I truly believe that this treatment can stop the arthritic process. I am only doing surgery now for traumas such as fractures and ruptures. I no longer do arthroscopies or osteotomy alignments. No more surgeries for degenerative conditions.” Dr. Calderón has a 90% success rate treating people from the United States, South America, and from all over Mexico. His patients typically need three to four treatments, depending on their age and severity of their condition.

Figure 2. Dr. Calderón’s arthroscopic equipment that he no longer needs because Prolotherapy has been so successful.

“My orthopedic colleagues at first thought I was practicing voodoo or witchcraft. Now they refer their own family members to me. Prolotherapy still is not very common in Mexico, as there are about ten practicing Prolotherapists here, all trained by me. I perform about 50 treatments per week, with low back, knees, shoulders, necks, and ankles being the most common areas.”

“If Prolotherapy becomes more accepted, there will be harsh effects to the surgical industry and even the medical business in general,” opines Dr. Calderón. “Compared to surgery and other treatment options, Prolotherapy is very cost effective.”

“I have trained a couple of orthopedists in Prolotherapy, one who had severe pain as a sequela to two back surgeries. I treated him five times at my clinic during his training, and he is so happy that he is almost pain free now. I am really happy and excited for my colleague. When I first started doing Prolotherapy I was amazed at the results, but now ten years later, it is part of my life.

Dr. Calderón shared that when he was doing traditional medicine he had patients he did not want to see anymore because it would bother him that he could not cure them. “Sometimes I would end up sending them to a psychologist. Now I welcome everyone to my office. I am so happy to cure someone who was told they would never walk again or were confined to bed.”

Prolotherapy has actually made his professional life easier. “Not only do I perform 95% less surgeries than I used to, when I do get a patient that may need a spinal column surgery, I refer them to a colleague. Now I do not have to deal with the problems that sometimes occur after a surgery.”

“I am basically using the same solution for my Prolotherapy treatments that Dr. Hauser taught me, distilled water, dextrose, lidocaine, and Sarapin, sometimes adding procaine or sodium morrhuate as he does. I have started to use ozone along with the Prolotherapy solutions. I call it Prolozone. I use it for patients who have severe pain who I know that their pain will not be resolved quickly with Prolotherapy alone. The ozone can relieve their pain while the Prolotherapy is working.”

“I am very happy to have met Dr. Hauser and am very thankful to him,” says Dr. Calderón. “I am very grateful to he and his wife Marion as my life has changed completely since I started doing Prolotherapy. He taught me another view of medicine, a medicine I never knew. I will always keep the Hausers in my heart. With Prolotherapy and if God is willing, I would like to keep practicing Prolotherapy until I am 80, far longer than I could have as an orthopedic surgeon.”

Dr. Calderón reports a 90% success rate and treats patients from all over Mexico, the US, and South America.