I have also been treated by Dr. H. in Chicago for cervical instability some time ago; 4 treatments, spaced approximately 4 weeks apart, 3 times additionally with PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma). I felt a significant improvement after the 2nd/3rd treatment – the whole neck got noticeably more stable, I felt less cracking, and also the neurological symptoms I had before (dizziness, disturbed vision, paresthesia, numbness) subsided almost completely after the 4th treatment.
Unfortunately, I had a bad setback after I came back, maybe due to intubation for general anesthesia; it’s not quite clear what happened. I find it hard to know if I was just unlucky or if prolotherapy cannot keep the promises it makes. At the moment I’m worse than before.
I had a DMX (Digital Motion X-Ray) done in Chicago as advised by Dr. H. I have to confess that I was rather unaware of radiation-related risks; I hadn’t done much research on that matter, and just wanted confirmation of the diagnosis, as previous tests (MRI, CT, functional x-ray) hadn’t been quite that conclusive. They found injuries of several ligaments in the cervical area, including transverse and alar ligament.
Place of therapy: Chicago
Period of therapy: Within 5 months 3 appointments, average time in the USA 4 days
Costs: approx. 1000 Euro per appointment
Before therapy: The arrival in the office is absolutely friendly. At first, you are signing in on a list with the time of arrival. After a short waiting period, you are called by a nurse. This nurse accompanies you all the time. The nurse is collecting all the important data, and, of course, at your first visit this all takes a little bit of time. Then the nurse prepares you for the treatment. You will get medication, like pain meds, and your neck will be prepared (desinfection).
If you want to have a PRP prolotherapy, they will draw blood from your vein and get the injections ready. After a short conversation with the patient, the staff is ready to get the job done … By the way, a small advice: Don`t get anxious or frightened by the shouts of other patients 🙂
Procedure: In my case, dextrose and PRP was used. The PRP in particular was injected in the area C1-C2; everything else was injected throughout the whole cervical spine, including the back of the head. As the assistant of the doctor told me after the first session, he used a very aggressive approach because of the severity of my symptoms.
Many doctors in the US use different techniques, and Dr. H. injects directly, without any X-ray guidance, and he does it fast. The injections are painful, although local anesthesia and pain medication was used. In between, the doctor gave me a short break to relax and stop cramping a little bit. The whole staff did a great job, and helped me through all the pain. Thank you for that! It took around 5-10 minutes to treat my neck.
After the procedure: Directly after the procedure you remain lying on your belly, and receive a heat pad onto your neck; this is supposed to help to get the solution deeper into the tissue. After about 25 minutes, the nurse helped me to stand up. I felt like having a big weight on my neck. They cleaned my face and neck from the blood and helped me to put my neck brace on. I was able to leave the doctor`s office without any help – in contrast to another patient I met at my first time over there.
Health effects: The neurological issues, like dizziness, visual disturbances and concentration problems decreased after the therapy for approximately 10 days, then, unfortunately, occurred again. During this 10 days after the treatments, I got an impression how life without cervical instability could be ….:-( As a remaining effect, my headaches have improved around 20%, in particular behind the eyes; also, the quality of my sleep got a little bit better.