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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Diagnosing Torn Ligaments
Posted by: Cynthia
Date: November 30, 2005 4:15 AM

I fell and hit my head on a raised concrete surface about 2-1/2 years ago. Since then I have had several different kinds of gentle Ciropractic and massage therapy treatments that through continued trial cannot keep my atlas in alignment. I have head/neck symptoms too numerous to list; the most common ones, splinting and pain. I follow a daily stretching and exercise routine, and have always kept a healthy diet and lifestyle. I will now add creatine to my supplements - thanks for the tip. I have been told several times that my problem likely involves a damaged ligament, and that ligaments do not heal. By searching the web for hope, I have encountered websites like yours that discuss Prolotherapy as a solution to this, otherwise, hopeless diagnosis. Before a Doctor starts sticking needles into ligaments, they surely find the culprit to address first. That is my question. How do they go about finding the ligament that is damaged, IF there is one? Can you give me an idea of what tests are performed in this diagnosis or is there guess work involved?

RE: Diagnosing Torn Ligaments
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.,
Date: November 30, 2005 5:17 AM

Ligaments are "soft tissue" (that is non-calcified, at least in the normal condition), therefore they are radiolucent - almost invisible to x-ray and a little less invisible, but still rather hard to see, by CAT scan or MRI. Therefore the identification is a clinical matter based on history and physical exam. Damaged ligaments create a condition which the patient identifies as pain. While it is true that the EXACT location may not be discernible, the good news is that it is not necessary. Prolotherapy solution has little effect on intact connective tissue, but when it contacts damaged tissue it stimulates regrowth and repair. The tissue itself possesses the intelligence to do the repair in a proper controlled fashion. The bottom line is that the injection must be in the general area of the injury and it will then diffuse to do its work. The rule of thumb is that the injection must be within one inch of the injury. That is easy to achieve in most cases.

RE: Diagnosing Torn Ligaments
Posted by: Cynthia
Date: November 30, 2005 3:30 PM

It sounds like prolotherapy is worth trying. I am hearing nothing but good things and am ready for some good things to happen here. I am relieved that there will not be a slew of expensive tests involved, and that good educated guess work is close enough to get results. I hope that my original inquiry did not sound negative or suspect. I don't mean to, but am aware that my frustration occasionally manifests itself when I worry about this stuff. I'm worried about the time factor involved in trying different therapies. I feel that I must give each new approach a reasonable amount of time to unravel it's potential. If I don't make the commitment, I won't really know if IT failed, or I failed. But I'm worried that the longer it takes to correct this, the higher the risks are for permanent damage.

This Thread has been closed


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