Ankle and Foot Pain
Stem Cells Are An Alternative To Foot and Ankle Surgery
Many patients have turned to Stem Cell Therapy as a better alternative to foot or ankle surgery, with an easier and faster recovery and with significantly less complications.
Foot and ankle pain can be the result of an injury, such as a fracture or a sprain, or of a medical condition, such as tendinopathy or arthritis. Surgery is often recommended as a treatment for several foot and ankle pain conditions. However, surgery has the risk of complications including pain, blood clots, reactions to anesthesia, infections or muscle loss.
Surgery requires being hospitalized for a few days and the recovery from surgery may be relatively slow, often requiring a period of up to three months wearing crutches or a cast. In many cases, foot or ankle functionality may not be fully recovered after surgery, which can limit the movements of patients.
How Does Stem Cell Therapy For Foot And Ankle Pain Work?
Stem cells are part of our body’s natural healing resources. They continually renew our cells throughout our body, including our joints and tendons. Unlike other cells, stem cells have the unique ability to develop into a wide range of cells, including those needed to repair tissues in the foot and ankle.
The aim of using Stem Cell Therapy is to support the self-healing process of the foot and ankle, reverse disease progression and suppress inflammatory reactions that can worsen pain, leading to symptom relief and recovery of function.
At the Boston Stem Cell Center, we utilize regenerative medicine procedures including patients’ stem cells to repair the foot and ankle naturally. Stem cells exist in high concentrations in bone marrow and fat, which can be aspirated with minimal discomfort, and then injected into the affected area along with concentrated platelet rich plasma. Platelet rich plasma is a portion of the patient’s own blood that is obtained by a simple method of centrifugation of a blood sample.
Platelet rich plasma has a high concentration of growth factors that activate the stem cells and that prompt them to produce additional growth factors and anti-inflammatory cytokines, thereby changing the environment in the foot or ankle from inflammatory to healing and regenerating. Stem cells will then begin to heal the injury by stimulating cellular proliferation and local repair processes, and by reducing inflammation, resulting in pain relief and improved function.
Typically, a single stem cell treatment should be sufficient to yield good results for most foot and ankle problems. This is often combined with additional platelet rich plasma injections to reinforce the activity of stem cells. We do all our stem cell procedures under ultrasound or X-Ray fluoroscopic guidance to increase accuracy and decrease the likelihood of complications.
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STEM CELL THERAPY ALLOWS A QUICK RECOVERY
One of the main reasons why Stem Cell Therapy has become a popular alternative to foot and ankle surgery is the quick and simple recovery. Stem cell therapy is an outpatient procedure. After harvesting the stem cells, the procedure takes only a few hours to complete.
After the injection of stem cells, the recovery time may differ from patient to patient. In general, the majority of patients are able to walk within 24 hours. There may be soreness in treated tissues and joints for a few days. Excessive stress on the treated area due to high-impact activities such as running, jumping or squatting, for example, should be avoided for two to three months. Patients should begin to notice improvements within a few weeks after the injection. Stem cells will then gradually heal the damaged areas, allowing patients to return to their normal activities within two to three months.
Is Stem Cell Treatment Right For You?
Although Stem Cell Treatment is considered by some people to be experimental, various research studies show that regenerative stem cell therapy and platelet rich plasma injections can provide excellent relief from joint and musculoskeletal pain and ongoing inflammation.