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The Regeneration of Articular Cartilage with Prolotherapy
Author: Ross A. Hauser, MD
Journal of Prolotherapy. 2009;1:39-44.
What most people may not realize is that chondrocytes, the cells that make articular cartilage, are metabolically active. Chondrocytes proliferate and actively make articular cartilage. Osteoarthritis is an example of this, in that both the degradation and synthesis of articular cartilage are enhanced. It is well known that in osteoarthritis, chondrocytes retain their proliferative activity. Osteophytes or bone spurs are an example of this activity.
Another example of adult articular cartilage cells’ replication is acromegaly. In this condition the body produces an excessive amount of human growth hormone and with it, articular cartilage. Acromegalics often suffer from joint abnormalities caused by proliferation of chondroytes in articular cartilage. In other words, they produce too much cartilage. When a healthy articular cartilage cell is injured, it demonstrates an enhanced reparative response and can replicate its DNA to form new cells. The rate of formation
of articular cartilage can be enhanced by such stimuli as altered hydrostatic pressure, varied oxygen tension, growth factors, as well as nutrient and substrate manipulation.
If by traditional orthopedic surgery or medical standards, articular cartilage injury or degeneration causes such symptoms as knee pain, stiffness, clicking, crunching, and inability to walk, then the reversal of such symptoms with Prolotherapy must mean that articular cartilage regeneration has taken place. In this scientific editorial, the author makes the case for using Prolotherapy as the treatment of choice for degenerated joints.