Efficacy of prolotherapy in comparison to other therapies for chronic soft tissue injuries: A systematic review and network meta-analysis

Goh, Siew-Li and Jaafar, Zulkarnain and Gan, Yan-Nee and Choong Wai Kwong, Alston and Kaur, Jaspreet and Kundakci, Burak and Abdul Karim, Samihah and Jaffar, Muhammad Rahmani and Hamid, Mohamad Shariff A. (2021) Efficacy of prolotherapy in comparison to other therapies for chronic soft tissue injuries: A systematic review and network meta-analysis. PLoS ONE, 16 (5). ISSN 1932-6203, DOI https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0252204.

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Introduction Prolotherapy and other injections, primarily acting on pathways associated with maladaptive tissue repair, are recommended for recalcitrant chronic soft tissue injuries (CSTI). However, selection of injection is challenging due to mixed results. This network meta-analysis (NMA) aimed to compare prolotherapy with other therapies, particularly injections, for CSTI and establish robustness of the results. Methodology Pubmed, Medline, SPORTDiscus and Google scholar were searched from inception to 4(th) January 2021 for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) involving injection therapies (e.g. blood derivatives, corticosteroid, hyaluronic acid, botulinum toxin) for CSTI. The primary and secondary outcomes were pain and function, respectively, at (or nearest to) 6 months. Effect size (ES) was presented as standardised mean difference with 95% confidence interval (CI). Frequentist random effect NMA was used to generate the overall estimates, subgroup estimates (by region and measurement time point) and sensitivity analyses. Results A total of 91 articles (87 RCTs; 5859 participants) involving upper limb (74%), lower limb (23%) and truncal/hip (3%) injuries were included. At all time points, prolotherapy had no statistically significant pain benefits over other therapies. This observation remained unchanged when tested under various assumptions and with exclusion of studies with high risk of bias. Although prolotherapy did not offer statistically significant functional improvement compared to most therapies, its ES was consistently better than non-injections and corticosteroid injection for both outcomes. At selected time points and for selected injuries, prolotherapy demonstrated potentially better pain improvement over placebo (<4 months: shoulder ES 0.65; 95% CI 0.00 to 1.30]; 4-8 months: elbow ES 0.91; 95% CI 0.12 to 1.70]; >8 months: shoulder ES 2.08; 95% CI 1.49, to 2.68]). Injections generally produced greater ES when combined with non-injection therapy. Conclusion While clinical outcomes were generally comparable across types of injection therapy, prolotherapy may be used preferentially for selected conditions at selected times.

Item Type: Article
Funders: University of Malaya (UM), University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Faculty of Medicine[GPF007C-2019], Malaysian Health Technology Assessment Section (MaHTAS), University of Nottingham
Uncontrolled Keywords: Prolotherapy;Hyaluronic-acid;Injection therapy
Subjects: R Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Depositing User: Ms Zaharah Ramly
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2022 02:08
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2022 02:08
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/34183

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