The joints in our body go through damage and repair during our lifetime. Some conditions might get healed by themselves with a certain pain and anti-inflammatory medications, while some would require surgical intervention. Surgery often puts a person into tremendous stress and trauma with the complications involved in it. Regenerative orthopedic therapies are the best solution to get the ankle osteoarthritis treated without surgery.
Stem cell therapy for ankle osteoarthritis the most advanced orthopedic therapy, which helps to avoid the need for surgery. Due to the benefits of regenerative treatments, non-surgical stem cell treatments for ankle osteoarthritis have gained much popularity over the past decade. Ankle osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint condition that causes severe pain and disability. Foot and ankle conditions affect the mobility and quality of life when the treatment is delayed.
Ankle osteoarthritis causes and symptoms
Our ankle joint is prone to the risk of sprains, fractures and certain other types of injuries, which likely develop into arthritis over time. With this, the protective covering around the ankle joint known as cartilage deteriorates and eventually develops friction between the two ankles bones. In some cases, it may also be developed due to high arches or flat feet. In people with flat feet, there is less stability in the ankle ligaments, which results in strain on the ankle joints.
The symptoms of ankle osteoarthritis are quite bothersome and makes it challenging to move around. People with arthritis of the ankle feel pain and tenderness when the ankle joint is touched. Also, it causes swelling, warmth and stiffness around the ankle joint. One would experience more pain while trying to move around after resting for a prolonged period of time.
Treatment and management of ankle osteoarthritis
In people with arthritis, the joint cartilage wears off over time. The smooth cartilage that cushions around the ankle joints wear down, which results in rubbing of the bones against each other. In due course of time, the joint may be affected badly, which might not allow a person to work and move around easily. Arthritis of the ankle causes severe pain, inflammation around the joints, and stiffness that shows a significant impact on performing regular tasks. Osteoarthritis is age-related arthritis, and changes in the joint occur over several years.
Surgery for ankle osteoarthritis involves the risk of side effects, complications, and would require lengthy rehabilitation periods. To heal the bones and damaged joint structures, the doctor would perform a fusion surgery, or some people might need joint replacement surgery.
Non-surgical treatment for ankle osteoarthritis
With numerous complications involved with surgical intervention, most of the people fear to opt for ankle surgery. Non-surgical treatment with autologous stem cells and blood platelets are currently booming as the best regenerative therapies to heal the ankle pain resulting from various underlying medical conditions.
Stem cells are the specialized cells in the body that can enhance the body’s healing power to treat the damaged tissue. Stem cells used in the treatment are derived from the bone marrow and are concentrated in the laboratory before they are injected into the site of the injury. The customized concentrations of stem cells are precisely administered into the ankle joint with the help of latest image-guided technique, fluoroscopy and ultrasound.
If the extent of cartilage damage is less, the doctor will recommend SCP (Super concentrated platelets) treatment, which is done by using the blood platelets drawn from the patient. The platelets collected from the patient are concentrated in a lab to obtain a concentrated form of platelets, which is 15 – 20 times more than the regular platelets.
The recovery from stem cell treatment and PRP treatment is much faster when compared to surgery. One can get back to performing their regular tasks within 2 to 3 days of receiving the treatment. The post-treatment care is minimal and does not require any medications apart from pain medication to subside the pain at the injection site.
The doctor will recommend physiotherapy exercises post-treatment to regain the strength, mobility, and range of motion in the ankle joint. Also, regular physiotherapy exercises for a specific period of time increase the blood flow to the treated joint, thereby triggering the release of proteins that aid in tissue regeneration. One should avoid imposing excessive stress on the treated joints for at least a few weeks. It is advisable to avoid standing for long periods, running or jumping that imparts more stress on the ankle joints.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Does stem cell therapy for ankle osteoarthritis result in side effects?
Stem cell therapy for ankle arthritis treatment is a highly safe procedure that does not result in any form of side effects. Stem cells used in the treatment of ankle osteoarthritis are collected from the patient’s bone marrow. Since the stem cells are not taken from the donor, there is absolutely no chance of rejection. When concentrated stem cells are injected into the site of injury, they enhance the body’s ability to repair and regenerate healthy tissue.
How many sets of stem cell or PRP injections are needed to treat the damaged tissue?
The treatment for ankle arthritis usually requires only one set of stem cell injections to heal the damaged cartilage tissue. In some cases, depending on the severity of the condition and the extent of the injury, the doctor would combine the stem cell therapy followed by super concentrated platelets (SCP) therapy to enhance or trigger the work of stem cells to fasten the healing process.
When the condition is acute, or the damage is minimal, SCP injections would be ideal for healing the tissue. However, the doctor would evaluate the progress and decide if the patient requires another set of SCP injection to repair the damaged tissue.
How is ankle osteoarthritis evaluated?
The diagnosis of ankle osteoarthritis involves physical examination to look for the swelling of the ankle joint and the mobility range. Although X-rays can identify the joint damage, the extent of the condition and the deterioration of the soft tissues can be identified only by an MRI scan. By reviewing the MRI scan and other medical reports, the doctor will either suggest stem cells therapy or SCP therapy.