ORIGINAL RESEARCH| Volume 104, ISSUE 2, P179-187, February 2023

Is Low-Dose Dextrose Prolotherapy as Effective as High-Dose Dextrose Prolotherapy in the Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis? A Double-Blind, Ultrasound Guided, Randomized Controlled Study

Published:October 12, 2022DOI:



      To investigate the effects of prolotherapy (PrT) on pain, functionality, clinical improvement and to compare the 5% low and 15% high dose dextrose PrT in chronic lateral epicondylitis.


      A double-blind, parallel groups, randomized controlled study.


      Outpatient Clinic.


      Sixty patients (N=60), aged 44.30±10.31 years old, with chronic lateral epicondylitis were allocated randomly into 3 groups.


      To Group 1 5% dextrose PrT, to Group 2 15% dextrose PrT, to Group 3 0.9% saline injections were done at 3 times (weeks 0, 3, 6), to the entheses of forearm extensors and annular ligament.

      Main Outcome Measures

      The primary outcomes were handgrip strength, visual analog scale-rest (VAS-R), visual analog scale-activity (VAS-A), pressure-pain threshold, and Quick Disability of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (Q-DASH). The secondary outcomes were clinical improvement (Disease Global Assessment Questionnaire), side effects, and complications. Primary outcomes were collected at baseline week 0, week 3, and 12. Secondary outcomes were collected at weeks 3 and 12.


      In Group 2, VAS-A and VAS-R (at week 3), handgrip strength and pressure-pain threshold (at week 12) were significantly different than other groups (P<.05). In Groups 1 and 2, there was a difference in primary outcomes at week 12 than baseline (P<.05). In Group 3, there was no difference in VAS-R, VAS-A, and handgrip strength at weeks 3 and 12 than baseline (P>.05).


      In chronic lateral epicondylitis, 5% and 15% dextrose PrT is more effective in pain, handgrip strength, functionality, and clinical improvement than %0.9 saline. There was no difference in functionality, clinical improvement, side effects, and complications between the PrT groups. 15% dextrose PrT was more effective in handgrip strength and pressure-pain threshold at week 12 and pain at week 3. We recommend 15% dextrose PrT based on this study.


      List of abbreviations:

      DGAQ (Disease Global Assessment Questionnaire), PrT (prolotherapy), Q-DASH (Quick Disability of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand), VAS-A (visual analog scale-activity), VAS-R (visual analog scale-rest)
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