Regenerative Medicine for Foot and Ankle Care

What Is Regenerative Medicine?

Regenerative medicine uses cutting edge technology to regenerate human tissue to restore “normal” function. Also known as biologics, the technique replaces damaged tissue with new, healthy cells, encouraging the body to heal itself.

Regenerative medicine concept with DNA strand and genetic mapping
Biologic treatments used by Phoenician Foot & Ankle are non-invasive and proven effective at treating a variety of foot and ankle conditions.

Why Are Podiatrists Turning to Regenerative Medicine?

Doctors in all disciplines have been paying close attention to studies that explore regenerative medicine. Podiatrists are particularly interested in effective treatments that address common foot and ankle problems without the need for surgery.

With any new medical technology, doctors must wait for the research that proves the treatment is both effective and safe. And, although some of these biologics have been around for decades, that’s a relatively short time in medicine. Luckily, numerous studies show promising results for treating plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and more using regenerative medicine.

What Is Platelet-Rich Plasma?

Platelet-rich plasma, commonly known as PRP, involves placing the patient’s own blood into a centrifuge to remove the red blood cells. The result, as the name implies, is plasma that is rich in platelets, which researchers believe accelerates the patient’s healing processes.

PRP is used as an injection for conservative (i.e. non-surgical) treatment for a variety of foot and ankle conditions. These include:

  • Achilles tendinopathy and rupture: Studies on athletes reveal that PRP is effective in treating both chronic Achilles tendon issues and acute injuries. Athletes experienced less pain and faster healing times, allowing them to return to "normal" activity levels more quickly.
  • Osteoarthritis: Patients in the early stages of osteoarthritis (OA) experience reduced pain after PRP injections. They also saw slower degeneration of the cartilage and even regeneration and repair of tissue.
  • Plantar fasciitis: Studies reveal that injecting the patient with platelet-rich plasma reduces inflammation throughout the heel and thickness of the plantar fascia in particular. It is particularly valuable for patients who have not responded well to other conservative therapies.
  • Wound healing: Platelet-rich plasma facilitates faster healing for a variety of wounds, including diabetic, decubitus (aka pressure ulcers), and venous ulcers. PRP has also been shown to reduce incidence of infection.
In addition to conservative treatment therapies, platelet-rich plasma may also be used after surgery to facilitate faster healing.

What Is Amniotic Cell Therapy?

Amniotic cell therapy promotes the patient’s natural repair responses via the injection of cells taken from the amniotic fluid, placenta, or umbilical cord after a caesarean birth.

These tissues go to a donor bank where they undergo a rigorous screening process under guidance of the American Association of Tissue Banks and the FDA. Many researchers believe we may someday be able to replace organs using this technology.

In podiatric medicine, amniotic cell therapy is used to treat a variety of chronic conditions, including:

  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Chronic heel pain
  • Foot ulcers
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Ruptured tendons
Even though the tissues are taken from donors, they activate the patient’s own cells, triggering the body’s healing response.
Illustration of platelet rich plasma process

Is Regenerative Medicine Right for You?

If you’re interested in learning more about regenerative medicine, schedule an appointment with Dr. Sana. He will explain your options to help you determine the treatment path that’s right for your unique needs. Call 480.253.9996 to schedule your consultation today.
  • A detailed list of your symptoms, i.e. pain, swelling, bruising, instability, tenderness, etc.
  • A list of previous foot and ankle injuries
  • Details about your recent injury, including how it happened, where it hurts, which way the ankle turned, and whether your foot can bear your weight
  • Treatment received for previous injuries and whether it was effective

Finally, create a list of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you take, including dosage. Your list should include supplements and vitamins.

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