Does your foot or ankle pain keeps haunting you every now and then? Are you unable to do your regular activities like walking and playing? Is it challenging to get through the day? Luckily, you can get long-term relief from pain and come back to normalcy without any surgery, but with regenerative therapy.
Legendary athlete Tiger Woods opted for regenerative treatment, especially Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy when his Achilles tendon got injured. After receiving PRP therapy for two years, he said in Tiger Woods – 2010 Masters Press Release, “I did everything I possibly could to get heal faster through the PRP injections so I could get back on the golf course”.
Foot and ankle injuries are quite common, particularly if you engage in sports. Since everyone depends on their legs for maximum activities, people face varied situations that can cause foot or ankle pain almost every day and at times, not only pain. There might be associated symptoms like discomfort in walking, bruising, swelling, snapping/popping sound, change in foot or ankle shape, and tenderness. An injury in one area can cause problems in other areas. If your ankle gets sprained, you might walk improperly and put stress on joints in the foot region.
What causes ankle and foot problems?
Your feet are composed of 26 bones, 33 joints, tendons, muscles, and nerves. If any of these parts are overused, injured or affected by the underlying health problems, it can lead to pain in the heel of the foot and ankle.
The common causes include:
- Arthritis in feet
- Plantar fasciitis
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries
- Achilles tendinopathy/tendonitis
- Ankle instability
- Heel bursitis
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
- Leg/ankle fracture
- Ligament pain/tears
- Patellar tendon injury
- Sports injuries
- Accidents or sudden trauma
It is a known fact that joints begin to pain as you become older. But still, everyone hopes for a remedy to the pain! Treatment depends on the severity of the injuries. If the injury is minor, you can opt for home remedies:
- RICE method including Rest, Ice application for 3-4 times per day, Compression (wrapping the injured portion with an elastic medical bandage to avoid swelling), and Elevation (raising the injured area above the heart level whenever possible) as one of your first treatments.
- Extensive physical therapy and the administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers are the recommended treatments used with the RICE method.
- Corticosteroid injection with an interval of 4-6 months can reduce pain and inflammation.
If the injury/pain is severe, it will take a considerable time for complete healing.
- Surgical interventions include ankle arthroscopy (removal of an inflamed portion of the ankle), tendon grafts, arthrolysis (a special device is fitted to promote healing), and joint fusion (removal of the ends of bones meeting at the ankle joint and the remaining parts are fixed together with screws). However, risks are associated with these surgical procedures, which should be discussed with the physician before opting for surgery.
How can regenerative therapy help?
Non-surgical regenerative therapies such as cell therapies and PRP injections provide a faster recovery from ankle and foot pain with lesser downtime. Regenerative treatment can help your body repair and regenerate damaged cells naturally. It reduces pain and brings back functional mobility within a short period. Patients can get back to their routine or work within a few days. They can experience relief from pain within three weeks after the procedure and up to between 6-8 weeks.
- PRP therapy takes peripheral venous blood from your own body and separates a concentration of platelets. These platelets above the normal value are injected into the affected area. Cytokines and growth factors present in platelets rich plasma promote natural tissue healing, which leads to a pain-free life. Research studies reveal that PRP therapy shows potential benefits in the treatment of Achilles tendon pathology, plantar fasciitis, osteochondral lesions of the talus (OLT), diabetic foot ulcers, and ankle osteoarthritis. PRP repairs ankle sprains and improves osseous healing, fracture healing, as well as wound healing [1, 2].
- In cell treatments for foot and ankle pain, regenerative cells are derived from your bone marrow under local anaesthesia and then injected into the affected area. Research studies reveal that bone marrow-derived stem cells are an effective treatment for ankle osteoarthritis patients . A case study in CellR4 revealed that bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) having stem cells to rebuild tissue could treat severe chronic Achilles tendinopathy with significant healing in 10 weeks .
Never stay handicapped with ankle and foot pain. Regenerative therapy can help you get back on track. If you feel you may benefit from regenerative therapies, please contact us at our London clinic on 020 8 168 2000 or our Ireland clinic on 01 298 8000 to book a consultation or request a callback today! We will take a close look at your case and evaluate if you are the qualified candidate for regenerative therapy.
- Henning, P. R., & Grear, B. J. (2018). Platelet-rich plasma in the foot and ankle. Current reviews in musculoskeletal medicine, 11(4), 616–623.
- Zhao, E., Carney, D., Chambers, M., Ewalefo, S., & Hogan, M. (2018). The role of biologic in foot and ankle trauma-a review of the literature. Current reviews in musculoskeletal medicine, 11(3), 495–502.
- Chahla J, Cinque ME, Schon JM, et al. Bone marrow aspirate concentrate for the treatment of osteochondral lesions of the talus: a systematic review of outcomes. Journal of Experimental Orthopaedics. 2016;3:33. DOI:10.1186/s40634-016-0069-x.
- McKenna R. W. & Riordan N. H. Minimally invasive autologous bone marrow concentrate stem cells in the treatment of the chronically injured Achilles tendon: a case report. CellR4 2014; 2 (4): e1100