Regenerative Medicine at Valley Foot and Ankle
This is the field of medicine that involves the “process of replacing, engineering or regenerating human cells, tissues or organs to restore or establish normal function”.
At Valley Foot and Ankle we utilize several different treatments which take advantage of this principle. The common feature that these treatments all share is their ability to stimulate the body’s own capacity to heal itself. This is a paradigm shift in medicine. Instead of masking pain, surgically removing damaged tissue or simply reducing inflammation, the shift now is to implement therapies that allow for actual tissue healing and regeneration. We offer several therapies that harness the potential of regenerative medicine:
RSWT (Radial Sound Wave Therapy) aka “Shock Wave”
This non-surgical therapy uses sound waves to stimulate healing. It is completely non-invasive, involves no injections and has no known side effects.
Amniotic injections are injections derived from human amniotic tissue. This can be any number of combinations of either amniotic and chorionic membrane or amniotic fluid depending on the specific product used. Amniotic injections are not stem cell injections. They do not contain any living cells. What they do contain are hundreds of growth factors which are implicated in recruiting your body’s own healing cells to the site of injection.
In our practice we have found these injections to be very useful in conditions such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinosis and many forms of tendonitis. As opposed to cortisone, which suppressed the body’s immune inflammatory response, these injections activate the bodies healing potential.
Joint Injection Treatment
These injections of the building block of cartilage, hyaluronic acid, can be effective in reducing joint pain resulting from cartilage loss or damage. They have been shown to delay or eliminate the need for knee replacements. In podiatry, we find these injections can reduce pain in the big toe joint/first metatarsal phalangeal joint, the ankle joint as well as any other joint in the foot that may be damaged. These injections contain a substance our body already makes and do not cause any potential allergic reactions.
MLS Laser Therapy
Multi-Locking Laser Therapy is a class IV laser, cleared by the FDA. Laser therapy is used by many medical practitioners including pain management physicians, osteopathic and naturopathic doctors, sports medicine doctors, orthopedists, chiropractors and even veterinarians. This treatment has been shown to have the following effects for many conditions applicable to the foot and ankle:
- Reduction in pain
- Reduction in swelling
- Reduction in inflammation
- Promoting cellular healing
MLS laser therapy is completely painless. MLS laser is able to penetrate deeper tissues than “cold lasers” and can reach virtually all the areas we typically target in podiatry. It can be used to treat conditions such as neuritis, neuropathy, tendonitis, joint pain, chronic pain, acute foot or ankle injury, wounds, post-surgical pain and swelling as well as several other conditions.
Benefits of MLS laser therapy include:
- No known side effects
- Can be used on almost any patient, even many who are not healthy enough for surgery
- Can help reduce or eliminate the need for pain medications
MLS Laser Therapy consists of a series of treatments determined by your doctor depending on your specific condition. This treatment is FDA cleared, safe and effective but is not covered by any insurance plans.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem Cells are the cells that are effectively “blank slates”. They have the potential to become virtually any cell type, whether it be nerve cell, tendon cell, bone cell, etc. These powerful cells can be injected into areas of damaged tissue and potentially become healthy new cells of whatever cell type that needs to be replaced. Stem cells must be harvested from a person’s body, typically from the bone. In our practice, we typically harvest from either the lower leg or the heel. This involves numbing the skin and using a special needle to draw out bone marrow. This bone marrow aspirate is then processed and then re-injected into target tissue. Bone marrow aspiration and injection is not covered by insurance for purpose of injection into soft tissue like tendon, muscle, and fascia or in joints. The special equipment required for this procedure is quite expensive but we are willing to offer this service for those that want it as medically appropriate.