How Much Does Prolotherapy Cost?

Written by: Staff

Prolotherapy. also referred to as proliferation therapy, regenerative injection therapy, or proliferative injection therapy, is an alternative therapy for treating musculoskeletal pain.

During prolotherapy, an irritant substance, known as dextrose, is injected into the patient’s tendon or ligament.  The process allows new tissues to grow, alleviating the pain from the damaged tissue.

Prolotherapy can treat pain caused by injury to the lower back, knees, Achilles tendons, ankles, shoulders, wrists, elbows, and neck.  There are certain conditions that can be treated with this therapy such as osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, plantar fascitis, costochondritis among others.

How much does prolotherapy cost?

The cost of prolotherapy varies depending on the geographical location, the doctor, the number of sessions, part of the body and the health facility.

Before the treatment even begins, an initial consultation will be required, which can cost around $175 to $300.  After the initial treatment, follow-up treatments will be required, which can cost anywhere from as little as $85 to $475 per session.  Every patient will need a certain number of sessions, so the results can vary, but on average, the total costs from start to finish can average anywhere from $500 to $1,800.

Refer to the table below to see what it may cost per treatment for certain areas of the body:

Area TreatedAverage Cost per Treatment
Knee, Shoulder or Hip$450
Wrist, Ankle or Elbow$450
Foot or Achilles$350
Heel or Hand$300
Toe(s) or Finger(s)$250 to $500

Dr. Marc Darrow M.D., J.D., who’s located in Los Angeles, California, for example, charges $395 per area and an additional $395 for each additional area.

At Caring Medical, a new patient consultation costs $250 while follow-up visits cost $125 to $175.  A follow-up by phone or e-mail can cost $40 to $75. says the average session can cost $400 to $1,000, depending on the facility and area of the body being treated.

Prolotherapy overview

During the initial consultation, the doctor will want to talk about your health history and perform a physical exam to evaluate the injury or site of pain.

Prolotherapy treatment is a watery injection, typically containing substances such as saline, sarapine or dextrose, in addition to lidocaine.  These injections allow a short period of inflammation and then stimulates the body’s immune system to produce collagen and cartilage which strengthens and restores joints and supports soft tissue, reducing different types of pain.  Typical treatments last no longer than an hour.

During the injection, a local anesthesia will be applied and a sedative, in some cases, may be offered if you need to relax.  The injection is considered to be mild, and the soreness can last for up to seven days.

The average session can take less than 30 minutes, including the prep when you arrive at the facility.

After the procedure, you may experience swelling or stiffness, but it will resolve quickly and people can resume normal activities the next day.

It can take anywhere from two to seven sessions, on average, to see a complete healing.  This will greatly depend on your age, the severity of the injury/disease and the health of the patient.

Follow-up sessions are typically done every four to six weeks.

What are the extra costs?

During the initial consultation, a doctor may want to take an x-ray and/or MRI to inspect the area in question.  These tests, if ordered, will be additional costs to consider.

Some clinics may charge extra for email or phone follow-ups.

In some circumstances, acetaminophen may be recommended to help cope with the injection pain.

Tips to know:

There are certain injuries or conditions that may not work with prolotherapy.  These conditions include a local abscess, bleeding disorders, medication meant to thin the blood, cellulitis, and/or arthritis.  In addition, if there is a ligament or tendon that is completely torn, or if there is a fracture, prolotherapy will not be an option, because, as mentioned, it’s designed for aching joints.  This treatment, in general, is ideal for those who have spine and neck conditions, torn ligaments, foot and ankle problems, as well as TMJ.

Side effects may include pain, numbness, or bleeding at the injection site; lightheadedness; an allergic reaction to the proliferant solution; nerve damage; and/or an infection.

Most private insurance providers, Medicare and Medicaid will not cover this procedure; however, it never hurts to ask.  What you will find is that most clinics will not even participate with insurance companies.  The reason for the lack of coverage is that the therapy is very new and has not provided enough evidence of being successful.

Doctors will recommend eating before the procedure to respond better to the treatment.

As for results, studies have shown 85 to 95 percent of patients experienced an improvement with injections.  The Mayo Clinic, however, has stated there have been mixed results.

How can I save money?

Oftentimes, if you purchase your injection sessions in bulk, you can bring the costs down for each visit.  Ask the office to see if any discounts are available.

Some centers, while rare, may be able to work with you based on a sliding income scale.

Follow your doctor’s advice prior to and after Prolotherapy. Make sure that you carefully follow his or her instructions to avoid complications and other health-related problems. This will help you save on additional costs for therapy and medication in the future.

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