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).