Foot and ankle injuries happen to millions of people every year — thousands right here in New York. Arthritis, sports injuries, peroneal tendon tear, ligament sprain, accidents, tarsal tunnel syndrome or general ankle instability can lead to multiple issues. Stem cell therapy can be your first stop on the path to relief — the treatment not only eases your pain, but corrects the problem.
Since your body’s weight is concentrated on the relatively small bones, complicated tendons and soft tissues of your feet and ankles, any injury or ailment can cause significant reduction in your quality of life. Previously, treatment options merely provided support or masked the symptoms, and the more radical choice of surgery involved significant risk.
Stem cell therapy for your foot and ankle has proven effective for many issues. Some of the conditions that stem cell therapy can address include:
- Ankle instability
- Peroneal tendon tears or splits (tendonitis)
- Ligament sprains or tears
- Sub-talar arthritis or instability
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
- Plantar fasciitis
What Are These Conditions?
Each of the medical conditions has different causes and symptoms. You need a proper diagnosis to get effective care. Being able to describe exactly where and when your foot or ankle is tender, swollen, painful or warm to the touch helps your NYC stem cell specialist diagnose the best procedure for you.
Each of the following conditions presents varying symptoms and causes:
- Arthritis can be present in any of the joints in your foot or ankle. It appears gradually, as the cartilage between the joints deteriorates or becomes compromised. Pain can range from mild to severe.
- Ankle instability occurs when the outer side of your ankle “gives way” time and time again. Swelling, pain and injury from falls are the risks associated with ankle instability.
- Peroneal tendon splits and tears result from repeated ankle instability, increased overuse, improper training techniques or inadequate footwear. Swelling and pain at the back of your ankle that worsens during activity or when the foot turns in or out signal this type of injury.
- Ligament tears and sprains occur when you stretch your ligaments too far through overuse or an accident. Once stretched, ligaments can’t provide stability.
- Sub-talar instability or arthritis usually develops from a previous injury. You feel pain in your hind foot just below the level of the inside and outside ankle bones. The pain can be aggravated by standing or walking on uneven ground.
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome involves the nerves located in the tunnel running between the bump of bone on the inside of your ankle and a band of ligaments that stretches across your foot. When those nerves are compressed, the pain begins. Causes include flat feet, fallen arches, swelling from an ankle sprain, arthritis or diabetes.
- Plantar fasciitis has symptoms of tenderness or pain running along the sole of your foot. It’s attributed to working out, standing for long periods of time or putting heavy stress on your foot. What happens is the strands of connective tissue inflame, compromising your mobility.
- Bunions appear as a bony, swollen, tender or painful bump at the base of your big toe. They arise from hereditary causes or poor-fitting footwear.
These conditions may give you acute or dull pain. They may come on suddenly or over time. Most specialists believe that conservative methods are the best first line of treatment.
Treatment options vary, but include:
- The RICE method — rest, ice, compression and elevation
- Heating pads or warm foot baths
- Activity modification
- Weight control
- Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers
- Prescribed NSAIDs
- Shoe inserts, prescribed shoes, braces or mobility-limiting boots
- Injections of various steroidal medications
- Stem cell therapy
Each treatment option has benefits, but most also carry risks or side effects. The top three are best used when your symptoms are relatively minor. Weight control helps, but it’s hard to achieve without mobility. OTC and prescribed medications harm your digestive system and often become less effective over time.
For more severe conditions, shoe inserts and the like prove limiting. Injections are temporary fixes; they can’t be used repeatedly due to the side effects of steroids or the risk of tendon rupture. Additionally, most of these treatments merely mask the symptoms or provide support.
Surgery has inherent risks, such as infection. Other factors include pain from the procedure, long recovery times and the requirement of physical therapy. Surgery is a last resort to pursue only if all other options have proven ineffective.
That Leaves Stem Cell Treatment
Stem cell therapy offers the greatest promise for your foot and ankle injuries and ailments. Stem cells are immature cells located in various tissues of your body. When you’re young, your body uses them in its healing process effectively. But as you age, your body can’t deliver them where they need to go as easily. Stem cell therapy simply helps the natural process along.
Your stem cell specialist extracts your own cells from your bone marrow and injects them at the site of your pain or injury. With stimulating growth factors included, stem cells begin to differentiate into the exact tissue needed to repair your damage — usually cartilage, tendon or even soft tissue.
The Benefits of Stem Cell Technology
Traditional treatments sometimes work, but may introduce side effects. They may be expensive and merely mask your symptoms. Stem cell therapy benefits you by using the healing factors already in your body to target the cause of your discomfort and repair the injury. Other benefits of using stem cells include:
- Your Brooklyn NYC stem cell specialist uses your own cells, thus ensuring a perfect match for your body.
- There’s virtually no risk of infection or reaction that might occur when using foreign matter.
- The surrounding tissue isn’t compromised by surgical interference.
- Recovery time is about 24 hours, as opposed to several months with other treatment options, like surgery.
- The stem cell therapy procedure is much more cost-effective than surgical options.
- Your stem cell specialist in NYC treats the cause of your problem, instead of just masking the symptoms.