Prolotherapy & Risks & Benefits

 Prolotherapy & PRP performed at Revolution Health & Wellness Clinic in Tulsa, OK is extremely safe and beneficial.

There are some potential complications that can be encountered with the procedure and it is very important that every patient understands these potential risks. We recommend that each patient watch the video below to gain a greater understanding of the potential risks. Each patient will be given an opportunity to ask questions about these risks in relation to their specific procedure.

Prolotherapy & PRP Risks

The majority of the risks associated with Prolotherapy & PRP are inherent with the needle injection. These risks include:

  • Bleeding; It is not uncommon that we will hit a smaller blood vessel with the needle and this can cause some minor bleeding and bruising. We have not seen this to be problematic and simply want you to be aware.
  • Infection: conceptually, this is a possibility. However, Dr Edwards has been doing prolotherapy for several years and has performed hundreds of procedures. He has never witnessed a single infection from prolotherapy. Additionally, we are associated with the Hackett-Hemwall Foundation where there are numerous prolotherapists and we have not heard of a single case of infection since 1956.
  • Pneumothorax: a pneumothorax is a collapsed lung due to air entering the space between the chest wall and the lung itself. This is a potentially serious complication and we would need to know about this immediately. The potential for this complication centers around the chest wall and ribs as that is where the lungs reside. Symptoms of a pneumothorax include chest pain, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, voice changes, increased heart rate. The treatment for a pneumothorax depends on its severity and generally needs to be evaluated by a physician or an emergency room.
  • Hitting something we don’t intend: we do everything we can to minimize these risks but it is impossible to completely prevent these types of complications. If we are injecting around the spinal column, it is possible to hit the spinal cord. This sounds like a big problem but, more often than not, the problem lasts for a second or two and then goes back to normal. We could hit nerves, arteries, or veins. Physicians put needles into arteries and veins every day intentionally. We don’t want to do this with prolotherapy but it is occasionally inevitable.
  • Spinal Headache: anytime the spinal canal is punctured there is the possibility of a spinal headache. This is similar to having a lumbar puncture or an epidural injection.
  • Migraine Headache: this has been reported but we haven’t seen it in our clinic.
  • Allergic Reaction: our solutions are very safe and allergy to any of the components in our solution is very unlikely. However, if you are concerned about this then please make us aware of your concerns and we will make sure that everything is as safe as possible.
  • Lidocaine Toxicity: we use a very small amount, generally 0.1%, of lidocaine making toxicity extremely unlikely except in the most extreme amounts of proliferant injected.
  • Increased pain: Most patients have some discomfort after the procedure that can last several days. Some patients experience extreme discomfort that is generally described as aching for up to a week. This varies dramatically from patient to patient. If you are experiencing a significant amount of pain please call our office so that we can manage your pain appropriately. PRP generally invokes a greater pain response during this period. It is important to remember that this is part of the healing process and is not an indicator of a problem.

Does It Hurt?

As stated in the video, this is an injection technique where we are injecting an irritating solution into already painful areas. So, yes, it can be painful. Most of our patients tolerate the procedure very well but some do have extreme pain during the procedure.

We are committed to keeping you as comfortable as possible during the procedure as well as afterwards. There are several things we can do to help reduce the discomfort of the procedure.

Medications: there are several medications that can be prescribed and taken prior to the procedure to help you stay as comfortable as possible. Here is a short list of medications that we can use. If any of these medications are prescribed for you then you will need to take them exactly as they are prescribed.

  1. Valium 5-15mg (1 to 3 pils) 1 hour prior to the procedure
  2. Norco 5-15mg 1 hour prior to the procedure
  3. Flexeril 10mg 1 hour prior to the procedure

You may be prescribed all, some, or none of these medications. If you take any of these medications prior to your procedure then you will need to have a driver to bring you to the clinic and back home.

Topical anesthetic: we can apply a topical anesthetic that will numb the skin so that the pinch of the needles is reduced. This does not help with the deeper pain or discomfort. This anesthetic takes between 45-60 minutes for full effect so you will need to let us know that you want this and arrive 1 hour prior to your procedure.

Tennant Biomodulator: this is a specific device similar to a TENS unit (but different in effect) that can help distract from the procedure. Some patients get significant benefit from this device. This is easy to do in the clinic. We simply attach the electrodes to certain areas, turn on the device, and increase the intensity as high as you can tolerate. The more you can tolerate the more benefit you will receive.

Sooting music, Squeeze balls: The more relaxed you are the more comfortable you will be. The squeeze balls seem to help a little as well.

IV Medications: we can do some light sedation by giving you pain medications and anxiety medications through an IV. These medications kick-in within minutes and can make you extremely comfortable. We do not completely sedate you. We want you awake and able to interact with us during the procedure. However, these medications may induce amnesia so you may not remember have the procedure performed once the medications wear off.

It will take several hours to return to ‘normal’ after having these medications and the procedure only takes minutes so we have to decide if it is worth it. There is an additional fee associated with IV medications due to the level of supervision required, IV supplies, medications, etc. It takes a significant amount of resources to make sure that this can be done safely!

Our goal is to resolve your pain as quickly, cost-effectively, and comfortably as possible.

Contact us today to schedule your appointment so that you can get started resolving your pain as quickly as possible!