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Prolotherapy Versus Steroids for Thumb Carpo-metacarpal Joint Arthritis

Information source: Mayo Clinic
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint Osteoarthritis

Intervention: Prolotherapy (10% dextrose solution) (Drug); Betamethasone (Drug)

Phase: N/A

Status: Terminated

Sponsored by: Mayo Clinic

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Michael J. Gruba, M.D., Principal Investigator, Affiliation: Mayo Clinic Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Residency


Arthritis of the base of the thumb is a common debilitating problem. It is believed that laxity (loosening) of the joint leads to worsening arthritis in this joint. This can be treated by securing the joint surgically or symptoms can be treated with hand therapy and/or injection of corticosteroids. Recently prolotherapy (sugar water) has been shown to decrease looseness of joints and also be helpful for hand and knee arthritis. We hypothesize that prolotherapy injections for thumb arthritis will be equally or more beneficial to the patients than steroids.

Clinical Details

Official title: Randomized, Double Blind Comparison Trial of Prolotherapy (Dextrose) Compared to Corticosteroid Injection for the Treatment of Symptomatic Thumb Carpo-metacarpal Joint Arthritis

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment

Primary outcome: Number of Participants With a Decreased Pain Score >20%

Detailed description: Dextrose prolotherapy has been shown to decrease anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) laxity and decrease knee joint pain. Similar to ACL laxity leading to knee osteoarthritis, laxity of the "beak" ligament can lead to worsening thumb CMC osteoarthritis. We hypothesize that dextrose intra-articular prolotherapy will have similar results in treating the pain and instability related to symptomatic thumb CMC osteoarthritis. This will be a prospective randomized double blind comparison study comparing Celestone to Dextrose intra-articular injections as adjuncts to hand therapy for the treatment of symptomatic thumb CMC osteoarthritis. Twenty patients will be randomized to each treatment arm to provide enough power to show a 20% change in visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain to be significant. We will utilize the ultrasound guided injection protocol described by the co-investigators for both treatment arms to ensure proper placement of the respective solutions. We will measure various grip strengths, and VAS pain scales prior to the first injection, prior to the second injection at 6 weeks and at the final visit at 6 months. A telephone follow-up with pain scale will be administered at 3 months. A Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) questionnaire measuring upper extremity functional impairment will be obtained at initial and final visits.


Minimum age: 45 Years. Maximum age: N/A. Gender(s): Both.


Inclusion Criteria:

- Age >45

- Ability to make follow-up visits over the 6 month protocol

- Ability to give informed consent

- Eaton grade 2-3 thumb carpo-metacarpal joint osteoarthritis with pain over 3/10 on

visual analogue scale with symptoms present greater then 6 months. Exclusion Criteria:

- Recent trauma to the hand or wrist or fractures eeen on radiographs

- Eaton grade 1, or 4 joints affected

- Metabolic bone disease

- Recent systemic or localized infection (within last 2 weeks)

- History of rheumatologic disease

- Allergies to injected solutions

- Thumb carpo-metacarpal joint injections in the prior 6 months.

Locations and Contacts

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55902, United States
Additional Information

Mayo Clinic Clinical Trials

Related publications:

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Starting date: May 2008
Last updated: July 27, 2012

Page last updated: August 23, 2015

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