Stem Cell Injection Therapy
Nothing is more frustrating than pain that just won’t go away, or injuries that keep you from engaging in activities you love for weeks, months, or longer. So when the “tried and true” strategies don’t provide you with the necessary relief, where do you turn?
At Waco Foot & Ankle, we offer a wide variety of advanced treatment options for heel pain, sports injuries, and other painful foot and ankle injuries. One of the most effective of these treatments is stem cell injection therapy.
This therapy may be considered as a primary or supplemental part of a treatment plan for a wide variety of pain conditions, particularly those involving soft tissue inflammation.
If you are curious about stem cell injections, we will be addressing some of the common questions this form of treatment brings up below. If you have any further questions, however, please do not hesitate to reach out to us with them!
What Is Stem Cell Injection Therapy? How Does It Work?
Stem cell therapy is a form of regenerative medicine. The goal of this form of medicine is to stimulate or enhance the body’s natural healing processes.
In this case, a concentration of growth factors, cytokines, regulatory proteins, and other components derived from amniotic tissue is injected into the site of an injury. In addition to supplying your body with critical nutrients, this also draws out your body’s own stem cells, which are natural building blocks used in the cellular repair process.
The effects of a stem cell injection can include a reduction in pain, a lessening of inflammation, and a faster overall rate of recovery.
What Kinds of Conditions Can Stem Cell Injection Therapy Treat?
Essentially, stem cell injections may be effective for any type of soft tissue strain or injury. Within the feet and ankles, this can include:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinitis
- Ligament strains or tears
If you’ve been suffering from chronic pain that won’t go away with rest, physical therapy, or other traditional remedies, stem cell injection therapy may be recommended as an appropriate next step, and can often help you resolve the issue without surgery.
However, please keep in mind that stem cell injections are not automatically the best or even a viable option for every case. We make our best recommendations only after a thorough examination of your condition. Learning about when your pain occurs and how it affects your life—among other questions—also helps us make recommendations that are best suited to your needs.
Where Do the Stem Cells Come From? Is It Safe and Ethical?
We can assure you with absolute confidence that the cellular materials we use for treatment are safely and ethically obtained.
The stem cells involved in healing the injury are actually your own, drawn to the injection site. And the material used in the injection itself is derived using tissue from the amniotic sac after a viable cesarean birth.
This is very special material that is considered to be immunologically privileged and has extremely little to no chance of being rejected. The donations are voluntarily made for the specific purpose of creating advanced stem cell treatment options. In no way is a mother or child endangered or even bothered in this process, and the materials would otherwise be discarded.
Donors are rigorously screened, and once gathered, the amniotic tissue is processed in a way that makes it completely sterile and safe to use.
What Can I Expect From Treatment?
In most cases, only one injection is needed, although in some cases more may be recommended for severely chronic injuries. The in-office experience should be very similar to getting any other kind of injection. It’s not painful, you don’t have to do anything special before or after, and there’s no downtime.
Results are not instantaneous, but most people report a significant improvement in their symptoms within the first 2 weeks after their injection. Furthermore, because the injections actually heal the tissue rather than just mask the symptoms (like a cortisone shot), the relief is long-lasting.
As mentioned above, stem cell injection therapy can often bring long-awaited resolution for chronic pain that hasn’t responded well to any other treatments. And when used for acute injuries, it’s not unusual for the therapy to reduce the overall recovery timetable by several weeks.
What Other Treatments Might Be Recommended?
Other treatments for heel pain may be recommended instead of or alongside stem cell injections. Some of them include:
- Multiwave Locked System (MLS) laser therapy. This is another form of regenerative treatment that uses specific frequencies and durations of light energy to stimulate natural healing processes in the site of an injury.
- Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy. Yet another form of regenerative treatment in which your own blood is drawn, separated into a concentration of platelets, and injected back into the site of pain.
- Physical therapy. We may recommend stretches and exercises to relieve discomfort and condition areas in need.
- Custom orthotics. When pain is being caused by a structural abnormality in the foot, custom orthotic inserts can shift excess weight and pressure away from trouble areas.
- Braces or splints. For certain conditions, braces or splints prescribed to be worn at certain times (such as overnight) can greatly help relieve pain from plantar fasciitis and other problems.
- Surgery. In rare cases, surgery may be the only option for finding substantial or permanent relief. We do not consider surgery unless more conservative means simply don’t or would not be effective.
Our doctors will develop a comprehensive treatment plan based on your specific needs. Please don’t hesitate to ask us any questions about why we might recommend one treatment and not another.
Receive the Treatment You Need
Whether stem cell therapy, physical therapy, or another route is the best for addressing your heel pain issue, the worst thing you can do is nothing.
The sooner the source of your heel pain is discovered and treated, the faster and more effective that treatment tends to be. Continuing to wait simply increases your risk of the problem becoming more severe and chronic.
Schedule an appointment with us by calling (254) 776-6995 or by filling out our online contact form.
MON - THU | 8:00am - 5:00pm
FRI | 8:00am - 4:00pm
201 Colonnade Parkway, Suite #100
Woodway, TX 76712