Prolotherapy & Autologous Blood Injections


What is Prolotherapy?


  • Prolotherapy (also known as sclerotherapy, regenerative injection therapy or non surgical ligament reconstruction) and autologous blood injections are injection techniques used to treat connective tissue injuries that have not healed by other treatments.
  • These procedures involve either the injection of local anaesthetic mixed with dextrose and sometimes your own blood (taken from a vein in your arm), or simply your own blood, into the soft tissue.
  • This causes what is known as an inflammatory response at the site, which increases the blood supply and flow of nutrients to the tissues. This aids in the healing of the tissues and therefore reduces your pain.
  • Minor complications that may occur following prolotherapy include: temporary pain, stiffness, bruising, temporary numbness.
  • Major complications that may occur are rare (estimated at 1 in 4000) and include severe headache, shortness of breath from lung collapse, nerve damage, body reactions to the medications used.


How Long does a Course of Treatments Take?

  • Some people only need a few treatments, but the average number is 4 to 6. The number of treatments will depend on your response to the therapy. The results of the treatment do not always occur overnight.
  • It is normal to expect increased pain and perhaps some swelling in the first week after your procedure.
  • Over the next month to 6 weeks, the pain will subside as the strength of the ligaments increases.


Prior to the Procedure

  • Your injection will be performed at Hamilton Day Surgery Centre. The staff from the Hamilton Day Surgery Centre will contact you with the appointment time. 
  • There is no need to fast prior to your injection procedure.
  • You may eat and drink as usual and take your medications as usual. 
  • You will need to organise someone to drive you home after the procedure as you will not be able to drive for 4 hours after your procedure. 


What Will Happen?

  • Your Doctor will perform the injection into the ligaments and tendons in the area where you have been experiencing your pain. There may be a nurse assissting.
  • It is not necessary to have general or local anaesthetic for an injection procedure. 
  • The consultation and procedure should take no longer than 15 minutes.
  • The local anaesthetic will wear off after several hours, therefore your usual pain may return.
    • It may take up to six weeks before you notice any change in your level of pain.
    • You may experience some tenderness around the site of the injection for several days. 


Post Procedure

  • Do not drive a vehicle for four hours after your injection procedure. 
  • You may feel some numbness or altered sensation around the region of your injection.
  • Depending on the site of your injection, you may be required to wear a splint for two weeks following the injection.
    • You will be advised by the nursing staff if this is required and where to obtain the splint.
    • Please bring your splint with you if it is required as it will be fitted on the day.


If you require further explanation of the procedure, please contact Hunter Pain Clinic nursing staff on (02) 4985 1800.


*  Image courtesy of drpnncpptak at