This research project has ended. View a list of current research projects or past projects.

Key DFM Personnel

  • David Rabago, MD – Principal Investigator
  • Jeffrey Patterson, DO Prolotherapist
  • Jessica Grettie, Research Specialist, is the Study Coordinator
  • Study Contact Phone: 608-576-2738

The Study is being conducted with the UW Divisions of Sports and Rehabilitation Medicine

Participating Physicians

  • David Bernhardt, MD
  • Kathleen Carr, MD
  • Jerome Ebert, MD
  • Greg Landry, MD
  • James Leonard, MD

Funding Source

National Institute of Health


Prolotherapy is a treatment of Dextrose (sugar-water) injections in and around the knee. They are designed to stimulate the body’s own healing process to strengthen the structures of the knee, improving mobility, and decreasing pain.

Prolotherapy has been used for over 100 years. Current evidence suggests that Prolotherapy may be effective in reducing the pain of knee arthritis, a degenerative condition causing the components of the knee to wear down. But conclusive evidence is lacking.
This study will test whether Prolotherapy is effective for relief of arthritic knee pain.
Experience at the University of Wisconsin suggests that Prolotherapy is equal to or better than physical therapy for arthritic knee pain.


Adults 40-70 years old who have had arthritic knee pain for 3 to 10 years are randomized one of three groups, complete six sets of questionnaires about their knee pain over the course of one year and may have three knee treatments.