InfoAugust 26, 2014 · Healthcare & Hospitals
Dr. Ed Davis, San Antonio Podiatrist Discusses Stem Cells for Ankle Pain
Options for treatment of worn out, arthritic ankles have been limited until recently. The advent of regenerative medicine provides some attractive treatment options.Press Release VideoLoading the player...Details(prREACH)
Ankles can become chronically painful when the cartilage becomes worn out. The ankle joint contains joint fluid which forms a hydraulic cushion which separates the joint surfaces. The joint surfaces are lined with cartilage which forms a smooth gliding layer between the bones of the joint.
Treatment options for painful, worn out ankle joints has been limited. Fusion of the ankle joint was the main surgical option for decades but ankle joint replacement is gradually becoming more successful. If the joint fluid could be replaced and cartilage restored, that would be the ideal option.
Regenerative Medicine is the new branch of medicine dealing with technologies designed to promote the regeneration of damaged tissues in the body. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells, that is, cells that can develop into any type of tissue. In the musculoskeletal field, stem cell therapy can stimulate the formation of new bone, cartilage, tendon, ligaments, fat, and fibrous connective tissue. Stem cells can replicate themselves, too, so it is theoretically possible to have an unending supply of these regenerative “machines” that can then divide and be guided to produce the cells needed to fulfill specific purposes in a treatment plan.
Hyaluronate is a viscous substance that mimics the function of joint fluid, when injected into a joint. Such injections not only supply the hydraulic “cushion” of fluid needed in the joint but appear to induce the body to produce more joint fluid. These substances have been around for a while but have only been FDA approved for use in the knee joint. Hyaluronate can be used in the ankle as an “off label” product. Davis states he had used hyaluronate in the ankle joint for years with good results.
Currently, one can mix hyaluronate with stem cells to create an injection that provides the hydraulic joint cushion plus the potential for cartilage regeneration. Dr. Davis states that this is a cutting edge treatment with great potential but is not reimburseable by third parties. One need consider the big picture in that surgical treatments, while covered, can be painful, involve considerable time loss from work and potential complications while the downside to the injections are minimal.
Dr. Davis practices in the Stone Oak area of San Antonio and can be reached at 210-490-3668 or at http://www.southtexaspodiatrist.com/LinksImagesContact
Eddie Davis, DPM
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