Prolotherapy Just Makes More Sense for Cartilage Injuries than Accelerating Arthritis with Arthroscopy

Ross A. Hauser, MDWelcome to the inaugural issue of the Journal of Prolotherapy (JOP). Unlike most medical journals which are written to doctors, this one has a target audience of both doctors and their patients; for that matter, anyone in pain who is interested in Prolotherapy treatments. The world needs this journal. Why? Well let me tell you a story. The other day I saw a new client by the name of Cyrus. Yes, that is his real name. He told me his story.

“Doc, I went to Dr. ______. You know the guy who is the team physician for the ______ (professional football team). He was also one of the doctors for the 19__ Olympic team. He had me get an MRI on my knee. He told me I should get arthroscopy and get some of my cartilage shaved off. When I asked him about Prolotherapy he said, ‘It is going to kill your cells. Don’t do it!’ I then asked him what would happen to my knee if he shaved some of the meniscus off. He then told me I would ‘get arthritis 20 years quicker!’ He said it would definitely accelerate the onset of arthritis!”

Cyrus was nervous coming in for Prolotherapy. He faints at the site of blood. The thought of getting a bunch of painful shots into and around his knee had him very worried. My staff and I spent a lot of time with him. He insisted I look at his MRI report, but I told him, “I like to look at that last. First, I need to talk to you. You will tell me more about your case and what treatment is needed than any MRI.” Then I examined him. I thought the whole case added up to a medial meniscal injury. I then reviewed his MRI. Yes, he had evidence of a medial collateral ligament sprain and some minor cartilage degeneration, but that was about it. So the top-notch orthopedist was going to do arthroscopy for that? Cyrus and I talked further. I told Cyrus I felt what the orthopedist told him was true in regard to arthroscopy accelerating the arthritic process. Cyrus then proceeded to tell me that the orthopedist also offered him a cortisone shot. Cyrus declined. What Cyrus did not know was the fact that cortisone kills cartilage cells. Prolotherapy regenerates articular cartilage cells. He researched Prolotherapy and decided to try it instead of surgery because he felt it made more sense to him (as it does to me!)

Currently in the United States there are about 1 million arthroscopies done annually. About one-third of these are for joint degeneration, even though it has been proven by modern medicine’s “gold” standard double-blinded studies that arthroscopic surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee doesn’t work any better than regular medical treatment.1,2 The conclusion of the two double-blinded studies was that arthroscopic surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee provides no additional benefit to optimized physical and medical therapy. According to the Cochrane Reviews “there is ‘gold’ level evidence that arthroscopic debridement has no benefit for undiscriminated osteoarthritis (mechanical or inflammatory).”3 What are the results of Prolotherapy for osteoarthritis of the knee? You draw your own conclusion as you read the experiences of patients and doctors who use Prolotherapy. My experience over the course of the last fifteen years is that Prolotherapy is incredibly effective at not only controlling the pain and disability of knee osteoarthritis (and other joints) but reversing it!

This first issue of the Journal of Prolotherapy contains many thought-provoking articles. Here is what you can expect to find regularly in issues of this journal:

  • Doctors’ experiences with using Prolotherapy for various conditions
  • Illustrations and explanations on various techniques of Prolotherapy
  • Research that doctors and lay people have done concerning chronic pain and Prolotherapy
  • Stories from patients whose lives have changed from Prolotherapy
  • News from around the world as it relates to Prolotherapy
  • Veterinarians’ experiences with Prolotherapy
  • and much more!

All of the writing was done by people that I personally know. I am grateful for their help. This issue contains articles from:

  • Mark Johnson, MD, a traditionally trained urologist, who explains from his perspective why chronic pain should be looked at as a connective tissue damage syndrome.
  • Roger DeHaan, DVM, who gives us an overview of his experience with treating animals with Prolotherapy. Prolotherapy owes a great debt to him, as he is one of the veterinarians that helped get Prolotherapy information and training out to his fellow animal doctors.
  • Rodney Van Pelt, MD, who demonstrates his technique used for treating anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries using Prolotherapy.
  • Mark Wheaton, MD, who describes a very interesting case of an elite college basketball player’s struggle with back pain, along with the patient’s perspective on the Prolotherapy experience, all found in Remarkable Recoveries!
  • Outpatient Charity Clinic Data: For many years my wife and I ran a Prolotherapy charity clinic in rural Illinois with the help of a crew of volunteer friends. Most of us who were involved with the clinic are Christians, and the clinic was held in the basement of the First Baptist Church in Thebes. We did our best to help the folks that came, giving “a lot of cups of water in Jesus’ name.” In this issue, and many subsequent issues, you will see research study data from the clients that were treated in Thebes, Illinois. All of the data was compiled by independent researchers who know very little about Prolotherapy.

The remaining content in this first issue comes from articles my staff and I put together related to the topic of articular cartilage regeneration. Yes, Prolotherapy can regenerate articular cartilage!

In the future, as more people become aware of the journal, we hope to see our readers submitting articles for publication. The Journal of Prolotherapy will become successful only when we all take an ownership interest in it. I hope you will be kind enough to send me your thoughts and suggestions to making JOP a success. Remember, the goal is to educate the world about the life-changing effects of Prolotherapy. This will only happen by you telling how your life was changed with Prolotherapy. I cannot wait to read about it!

Until the next injection,

Ross A. Hauser, MD


  1. Moseley JB, et. al. A controlled trial of arthroscopic surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee. NEJM. 2002;347:81-88.
  2. Kirkley A, et. al. A randomized trial of arthroscopic surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee. NEJM. 2008;349:1097-1107.
  3. Laupattarakasem W, et al. Arthroscopic debridement for knee osteoarthritis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2008, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD005118. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005118.pub2. Available at: Accessed October 13, 2008.