Background: Osteoarthritis is a common degenerative disease. Prolotherapy is an alternative therapy used in multiple musculoskeletal disorders.

Objective: To compare the effectiveness of intra-articular dextrose injection versus peri-articular prolotherapy in patients with knee osteoarthritis (KOA). 

Methods: Fifty-two adults with painful primary knee osteoarthritis for at least three months were randomized to intra- and peri-articular injection groups. Prolotherapy was done twice with two week intervals. The outcome measures included the Oxford Knee Scale (OKS), Western Ontario McMaster University Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), which were obtained from patients before the first injection at the base line and after the second injection at the fourth and eighth weeks.

Results: There were no statistically significant differences between demographic characteristics; before the injection, pain intensity, OKS, and WOMAC scores were approximately equal between the two groups. After dextrose prolotherapy, VAS, OKS, and WOMAC scores improved from baseline through the fourth and eighth weeks in both groups without any superiority between the two methods of injections (p<0.001).

Conclusion: Dextrose prolotherapy either intra- or peri-articular injection resulted in significant improvement, so it could be an inexpensive and effective management of knee osteoarthritis.

Trial registration: The study protocol was registered as a clinical trial under registration ID of IRCT2016091229795N1 at the Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials (http://www.irct.ir).

Funding: The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, or publication of this article.


Keywords: Intra-articular Injection, Knee, Osteoarthritis, Prolotherapy
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