I am considering surgery to help alleviate my lower back pain at the L5-S1 level. I keep hearing about Prolotherapy and Regenokine as an alternative to surgery for people with degenerated disks and lower back pain. Has anyone tried either one of these? If so, how was your outcome? Did it help with the pain? Also, what doctor did you see for this? Would you recommend them?
Welcome to the board. Prolotherapy and Regenokine are known as autologous therapies...meaning, they use substances from the patient's own body to promote healing.
Prolotherapy has been around a lot longer than Regenokine, but is still not generally accepted by most medical practicioners. I've been reading about it for about the last six years and it certainly seems like it can help in some situations.
You don't state what is causing you to consider surgery...or I should say what is causing your pain that is leading you to consider surgery. I am guessing it is a diagnosis of DDD, but I don't know what else may be going on.
Be aware that surgery is less successful when the pain is mainly located in the back (as opposed to sciatic-type leg pain). Usually there has to be an additional reason for doing surgery other than pain from DDD. This is in part because it is difficult to isolate the pain generator and correct the issue with DDD.
If you can find a practioner in your area, and you can afford to pay for the procedures, it might be worth trying prior to considering surgery. Unlike surgery, it couldn't hurt to try one of these modalities and see if it would help...unlike surgery, where the results can be harmful and cannot be undone.
There is a woman named Jenny on the Spinal Cord Disorders board who knows something about prolotherapy. Perhaps she could answer some of your questions. I cannot think of anyone who has tried Regenokine...other than the golfer, Fred Couples, so can't help you there with any suggestions! I see there is a group in Santa Monica that employs the therapy. Perhaps you could call there and ask to speak with someone.
The Following User Says Thank You to teteri66 For This Useful Post: seasidemelly (12-20-2011)
Yes, the pain is believed to be from DDD and stenosis. I ruptured my disc 8 years ago at the L5-S1 level and now I am left with no cushioning between the 2 discs. As my doctor says, it is "bone-on-bone". It takes nothing to set off a flare-up and I live in pain all the time. And yes, I have been finding out that the alleviation of pain from surgery does not look nearly as successful as it would be for someone with nerve issues. That is why I am seeking out alternative treatments. Thank you for your response.
Last edited by seasidemelly; 12-20-2011 at 09:58 AM.
Oddly enough, I do not have leg pain. When my disc ruptured 8 years ago, I initially had the 'drop foot' and leg pain. That went away over the years. Now I am just left with these constant flare-ups. My doctor wants to do a minimally invasive surgery where they go in anterioraly and put a polymer type spacer and fuse it with a titanium plate at the l5-s1 level. The polymer spacer is through a company called Medtronic and it seems to be a bone growth stimulator that is used to enhance the disc space.
I actually just made an appt. for tomorrow for a doctor that does prolotherapy. He was recommended by a respected pain doctor in the area. I am just covering all options before I make the final call for the surgery. I just know I can not live in pain any more. I am young and miss my active life.
[QUOTE=seasidemelly;4897399]Oddly enough, I do not have leg pain. When my disc ruptured 8 years ago, I initially had the 'drop foot' and leg pain. That went away over the years. Now I am just left with these constant flare-ups. My doctor wants to do a minimally invasive surgery where they go in anterioraly and put a polymer type spacer and fuse it with a titanium plate at the l5-s1 level. The polymer spacer is through a company called Medtronic and it seems to be a bone growth stimulator that is used to enhance the disc space.
I actually just made an appt. for tomorrow for a doctor that does prolotherapy. He was recommended by a respected pain doctor in the area. I am just covering all options before I make the final call for the surgery. I just know I can not live in pain any more. I am young and miss my active life.[/QUOTE]
I had one session of Prolotherapy, and it was completely miserable. It made my pain worse, and the doc didn't do any more sessions because of my reaction to the first one. I've never had fusion, but my dad had a fusion done back in the mid 1990's, and his was very successful. You should talk to the surgeon about the fusion, what he thinks the chances are, and what his success rate is.
I took that approach with my pain management doc before having RF Ablation done for my facet joint problems, and he did a very good job of putting me at ease about the procedure, my chances of success, and how he thought it would go. I had a successful procedure, good recovery, and am dealing with hardly any back pain at all now. Granted, RF Ablation is nothing like a fusion, but the point is to talk to the doc about the procedure and ask anything you can think of and want to!
The Following User Says Thank You to peps90436 For This Useful Post: seasidemelly (12-27-2011)
A surgeon is going to give you the statistical information on the success of fusion. He cannot predict much beyond that how the individual patient will do, whether or not his body will respond and actually grow sufficient bone to fuse, whether he will run into problems such as scar tissue, etc. which would affect the outcome of the eventual success, etc.
Of course it is always a good idea to talk with the surgeon and ask all those questions...but what surgeon is going to tell you about the "unsuccessful" procedures?
Prolotherapy is a series of treatments designed to enable the body to heal itself.
It can often take six treatments or even more before any results are noticed. And since it is not a common mode of treatment, it can be difficult to find a practioner with sufficient experience and training to be effective.
I don't know anything about regenokine...but I think it, along with the other therapies that seek to help the body cure itself are the wave of the future. A few people are injecting types of stem cells into the disc area to get the patient's body to repair a disc, rather than intervening surgically. As these procedures become more refined and research finds the best cells to use, I think we will see much more of this in the future.