Objective: To determine the efficacy of simple dextrose prolotherapy in elite kicking-sport athletes with chronic groin pain from osteitis pubis and/or adductor tendinopathy.
Design: Consecutive case series.
Setting: Orthopedic and trauma institute in Argentina.
Participants: Twenty-two rugby and 2 soccer players with chronic groin pain that prevented full sports participation and who were nonresponsive both to therapy and to a graded reintroduction into sports activity.
Intervention: Monthly injection of 12.5% dextrose and 0.5% lidocaine into the thigh adductor origins, suprapubic abdominal insertions, and symphysis pubis, depending on palpation tenderness. Injections were given until complete resolution of pain or lack of improvement for 2 consecutive treatments.
Main outcome measures: Visual analog scale (VAS) for pain with sports and the Nirschl Pain Phase Scale (NPPS), a measure of functional impairment from pain.
Results: The final data collection point was 6 to 32 months after treatment (mean, 17 mo). A mean of 2.8 treatments were given. The mean reduction in pain during sports, as measured by the VAS, improved from 6.3+/-1.4 to 1.0+/-2.4 ( P <.001), and the mean reduction in NPPS score improved from 5.3+/-0.7 to 0.8+/-1.9 ( P <.001). Twenty of 24 patients had no pain and 22 of 24 were unrestricted with sports at final data collection.
Conclusions: Dextrose prolotherapy showed marked efficacy for chronic groin pain in this group of elite rugby and soccer athletes.