We offer diagnostic and therapeutic injections of the foot and ankle.
What is a Diagnostic injection?
This is an injection typically used to block a particular nerve branch and see if temporarily “shutting it off” relieves symptoms. Knowing whether a particular nerve is contributing to symptoms can help guide treatments.
What is a therapeutic injection?
This is an injection whose purpose is to alleviate symptoms. Examples of such injections include injections to the heel for plantar fasciitis or injections into painful joints.
What do you inject?
Up until very recently the substance injected has typically been a derivative of cortisone (a steroid). This type of medication is a powerful anti-inflammatory. These injections are typically safe and effective. We use these injections only as needed because over time these injections can lead to a break-down of tissue. This property has its pros and cons. The pros being we can use this side effect to break down painful scar tissue. The cons being that repeated injections can sometimes lead to damage to joints or tendons.
Are there alternatives to steroids when it comes to injections?
Yes! At Valley Foot and Ankle we have alternatives to cortisone injections. These include injection of growth factors derived from amniotic tissue. This is an exciting, FDA approved, treatment which leads to recruitment of regenerative cells and promotes healing as opposed to acting as an anti-inflammatory like a steroid. We also offer injections of platelet rich plasma, or “PRP”. This is injection takes a patient’s own blood, which is spun in a centrifuge to isolate its own growth factors. This is then injected into an area of pain. Both of these therapies are promising in that they can lead to actual healing, not just pain relief. They also do not have potential side-effects of damage to joints, cartilage or tendon ruptures like repeated steroid injections are known to have.
How long do injections last?
This depends on several factors: what was injected, where it was injected and a patient’s own unique physiology. Not everyone responds the same way to injection. Some patients do not experience any relief from one injection while another may experience relief ranging from days to months to years. How a particular patient responds is often difficult to predict and some patient’s need more than one injection to achieve their treatment goals.