Regenerative Medicine: minimally invasive alternatives to foot and ankle surgery.
Joint surgery of the ankle or foot isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Invasive joint procedures performed by highly-skilled surgeons help millions of patients each year regain an active, pain-free lifestyle. The problem is that surgery doesn’t come with a guarantee of success. It’s also possible that surgery will make the problem worse—it can only cut, scrape, or stitch existing tissue. It can’t encourage healing or the growth of new, healthy tissue in any way.
A list of common lower extremity surgical techniques does nothing but highlight the limitations of an invasive approach. Advanced cases of bone-on-bone arthritis are often treated by “cleaning up” the joint surfaces with file-like tools. Any pieces of damaged cartilage which remain are simply removed. The cushioning, friction-reducing effects of these cartilage pads is lost forever.
Another option is complete joint fusion, which will permanently change how the affected leg functions in a negative manner. Knee, hip, and lower back pain can result as the biomechanics of the limb are altered. It’s a ripple effect that orthopedic doctors, podiatrists, and chiropractors are all familiar with.
Surgical resection is usually the best option orthopedic doctors can offer in cases of ligament or tendon tears. This is nothing more than cleaning up any rough edges, suturing them together, and hoping for the best. The connective tissue which makes up these structures has a poor blood supply, making recovery long and difficult. These procedures can also fail entirely, possibly requiring additional surgery.
In other cases, surgery simply isn’t a good option for a particular condition. The severe heel pain of Plantar Fasciitis is a prime example. Other chronic problems aren’t “bad enough” to risk surgery, even if they cause a considerable negative impact. The ankle and joints of the foot are highly complex and bear the full weight of the body, as well. This adds an element of risk to even relatively simple procedures.
Our aim is to deliver effective, non-surgical treatments for a very wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions. This sounds like a bland, general statement, but in reality it’s extremely exciting. That’s because our treatments can improve or completely resolve the following stubborn, treatment-resistant conditions:
- Plantar Fasciitis (chronic, often severe heel pain).
- Chronically sprained ankles.
- Other unstable joints.
- Advanced arthritis (including bone-on-bone).
How long should a sprained ankle take to recover?
The length of time it should take to recover from a sprained ankle varies on a variety of factors, thus there is no definitive answer to this question. The degree of the damage, the amount of rest you get following the injury, the types of treatments you receive, and your general health may all have an impact on how quickly the injury heals. Healing times typically take the following forms:
- Minor sprains: 1 to 2 weeks
- 4-6 weeks for moderate sprains
- Serious sprains: 8 to 12 weeks
To fully promote healing from a severe sprain, it may occasionally be necessary to undergo surgery or physical treatment.
When my ankle is sprained, can I walk?
It might be more appropriate to ask, “Should I walk on a sprained ankle?” The general guideline is that you shouldn’t be walking on your ankle if it hurts when you put weight on it. Employ crutches for the first several days after the accident, and then support yourself with an ankle boot or brace. Moreover, you shouldn’t start running or attempting other strenuous activities simply because you can walk on a sprained ankle a week or so after the accident.
See a doctor if you’re unsure which of these treatments for sprained ankles is best for you.
Who is susceptible to an ankle sprain?
An ankle sprain can occur to anyone at any age. Sadly, spraining your ankle once raises your likelihood of doing so again. Also, if your ankle gets sprained repeatedly, you could develop chronic ankle instability. It’s crucial to get treatment to address the cause of the problem because a persistent ankle sprain can result in additional issues, such as arthritis.
Can you avoid spraining your ankle?
Although you can’t always avoid ankle sprains, there are steps you may do to reduce your risk, such as:
- Putting on supportive footwear
- Being conscientious of your environment
- Maintaining foot control
- Weight training