Since I hear a lot of people talking about it, but not much more than, "It worked great!" or "Waste of money", I figured I'd share my experiences for others to read.
(I will preface this all by saying YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY, this is just what I've seen, read and experienced. Now back to the story)
Like a lot of you, I'm dealing with multiple issues -- DDD, spondy, stenosis -- but my SI joint issues are mechanical, in nature, so I figured I might be a good candidate for prolo -- if you read the literature, supposedly, prolotherapy doesn't just stop the pain, it tightens the ligaments that will keep the joint properly in place. I figured I'd give it a try -- a couple of chiros talked about it, in passing, and reading a cautiously enthusiastic report on it from the EDITED to remove link
I figured what the hell, why not. Especially since one of their expert sources is here in Southern California (not sure if there are rules on posting names, I know the Powers That Be frown on giving out Dr. names, so PM me if you want it). Called maybe three weeks ago -- the dr. also works at an out-of-state facility, so I had to coordinate her schedule with my own. I had a pretty wide range of choices for appointment times and days.
One thing about prolo: since the idea is to irritate the tissue and ligaments to jump-start the healing process, you can't take Ibuprofin, certain NSAIDs, that kind of thing for about a week before your shot.
I went in, nice enough facility, there was a ream of paperwork to fill out, then I went to the exam room. Some of the equipment seemed a little rinky-dink compared to the what I'm used to (disposable thermometers, a plastic stick-on-your-finger pulsefinder), but what the hell.
Doctor seemed nice and mostly competent, though I had to repeat important details a few times. She looked at my X-rays, MRIs, and nerve conduction studies and told me that for looking at tissue and ligaments, ultrasound can be much more reliable. She scanned my back and my ankle, said some stuff that sounded reasonable -- she sounded more straightforward, less "used car salesman". The exam lasted about an hour, she made a general recommendation -- she thought that three rounds could produce a noticeable difference, did I want to go through with it?
And I'm like, Um, I drove through an hour of traffic, I've already been here for three hours, I'm already in for $450, go ahead and shoot me up.
They wheeled out the flouroscope machine or whatever it was so they could shoot me in the right places -- again, compared to my hospital's ultra-robotic, multi-bazillion dollar system, this thing looked like a toy stethoscope. They inserted it -- oww, oww OWW, but there was a nice nurse there, rubbing my ankle, tapping my leg to try and distract me, and then BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM, a series of maybe 8 or ten injections. No numbing agent of anything. I've got a pretty high pain threshold, but honestly, I was not expecting it, and it had been a rough day, and I started to cry. And then it was done and I drove home.
I am super sore at the injection sites. That residual soreness is at least three times as bad as getting a cortisone epidural.
Some people report results almost immediately. Some people also say the soreness lasts a few days, even a week. I'll post again on Monday, hopefully with good news.
Oh, and now the price: For a complete exam and the first area, the damage rang out to $800. All out of pocket. OUCH. Additional treatment will be $485 per session. By the time I'm done, I guess I will have spent almost $3K. But if you've really suffered with this debilitating pain for long enough, you know that $3,000 to permanently get rid of it is a bargain!
Talk to you guy later Edited to remove link containing advertising for clinic.
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