One such group of therapies that seems to be steadily gaining traction is regenerative medicine. Its different approaches have been successful in treating a variety of ailments successfully, with many of them being related to orthopedics and podiatry. In fact, we offer regenerative medicine at Advanced Ankle and Foot, much to the delight of our patients.
But what is regenerative medicine exactly? What are the therapies involved, and how can they benefit you? Read along and find out more about this exciting area of medicine, and how it might help you to find some relief.
What is Regenerative Medicine?
Regenerative medicine centers around the body’s instinctual ability to heal itself. Rather than focusing on the treatment of symptoms alone (as many other therapies do), regenerative medicine is a way of stimulating the injured or diseased area of the body to accelerate its own healing process.
The knowledge of experts in several different fields of medicine is combined to form regenerative medicine; such as biology, chemistry, genetics, engineering, and more. There are various forms of regenerative medicine, each applying to different health conditions, injuries, and diseases. Many patients are finally seeing the relief they’ve searched for thanks to these therapies, and regenerative medicine is becoming more popular as a result of this.
Regenerative Medicine Options
Advanced Ankle and Foot offers two regenerative medicine therapies: PRP injections, and Stem Cell therapy. Each of these is used successfully in treating a variety of conditions, and is explained in further detail below:
PRP (or platelet rich plasma) injections are a great example of regenerative medicine. They utilize the body’s own resources — your own blood plasma and platelets — as medicine by injecting them directly into the injury site.
Thanks to the abundance of healing agents such as growth factors, protein, platelets, and collagen in your blood and plasma, your injection contains a concentrated dose of substances that your body already produces to heal itself — targeted directly toward where you need it most.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cells have long been touted for their health benefits, as they contain large quantities of several healing elements. Hyaluronic acid, anti-inflammatory agents, and growth factors are all essential for the healing process and are provided in abundance with this therapy.
Though we’re aware that stem cell therapy can be controversial, our stem cell sources are from amniotic fluid, not embryonic fluid. These materials are donated willingly and cause no ill effects to mom or baby — just health benefits for the patients they heal.
Common Issues That Can be Treated with Regenerative Medicine
So, what conditions can be treated with regenerative medicine? Thankfully, quite a few. Read on to find out which conditions we treat with regenerative medicine at Advanced Ankle and Foot:
A painful “overuse” injury, Achilles tendinitis often occurs in runners and people who only exercise occasionally. While this can be mild and cared for at home in some cases, more severe injuries can require surgery. Regenerative medicine can be a less invasive alternative to surgery in severe cases.
Plantar Fasciitis/Heel Pain
Plantar fasciitis occurs when the fascia is overused or your shoes don’t offer proper support. This can be a painful and long-standing condition, that is often helped by the use of custom orthotics — with severe (and usually rare) cases requiring surgery. Thankfully, patients with chronic or severe plantar fasciitis often find relief from the therapies regenerative medicine offers.
While bones are incredible and will heal themselves in a splint or cast over time, some cases require further intervention. Regenerative medicine can play a crucial role in ensuring the healing process goes smoothly, especially when an injury is stubborn and takes longer to heal.
Sprains and other sports injuries take time to heal, causing you to miss out on your physical activity until you feel better. While this is normal and healing naturally takes time, there are cases in which the damaged tissue needs more help to heal on its own. Regenerative medicine stimulates and amplifies the body’s healing process, allowing you to get back in the game sooner than later.
Diabetic Foot Care
Diabetes takes its toll on the body, especially where the feet are concerned. Issues such as neuropathy, slow wound healing, and more are a risk for any diabetes patient, but they are controllable to some degree. Regenerative medicine is a fantastic option for diabetic foot therapy; its ability to stimulate your healing process can help to bring much-needed relief.
Also known as “wear and tear” arthritis, Osteoarthritis most commonly affects the hands, hips, and knees. The disintegration of cartilage within the joints is the cause of the painful inflammation that patients with Osteoarthritis experience. Regenerative medicine is an excellent choice of therapy for these patients, helping the body to create new tissue and decrease pain.
When to Come See Us
If you’re experiencing any of the abovementioned issues and feel like traditional methods aren’t quite cutting it, regenerative medicine may be just what you’ve been missing. Our podiatrists are well-equipped to handle any foot and ankle concerns you may have and will gladly walk you through how regenerative medicine may be able to help.
Whether you’ve been dealing with discomfort for a prolonged period or are recently experiencing foot or ankle pain, we’d love to help. Our qualified providers will answer any questions you may have and determine whether regenerative medicine or one of our other proven therapies would work best for you.
We’re always here to help with any foot health concerns you may have. Contact us today for a consultation, and we’ll create a plan to get you back on your feet pain-free!