Until recently, some foot conditions—including some very painful ones—have been extremely difficult to treat effectively. But developments in what is known as regenerative medicine have given podiatrists new tools with which to help their patients.
Take, for example, the case of one of our practice’s patients who suffered for six years with arthritis pain in the middle of her foot. This particular form of arthritis is notoriously difficult to treat. Nothing seemed to help—not cortisone shots, not pain creams, nor any other treatment approach. And then, using a regenerative medical technique known as amniotic injection, we were able to provide her with much-needed relief from her pain.
The results of this treatment nearly seem miraculous but are actually the result of exciting advances in the science of regenerative medicine.
What Is Regenerative Medicine?
Regenerative medicine involves the search for and application of therapies that boost the body’s own ability to repair itself. You see that amazing ability each time you experience a minor cut and your body sets about repairing the damage. And that’s just one example of the ways in which the body can repair problems. Regenerative medicine assists in this natural process.
What Is Amniotic Injection Therapy?
When you hear the phrase “amniotic injection therapy,” you may find yourself wondering if the treatment involves the use of stem cells. That’s a fair question.
The short answer is: No.
The slightly longer answer is that the therapy is associated with the stem cell family of regenerative treatments, but no stem cells from unborn babies are part of the amniotic injection therapy. The tissue product—which is approved by the FDA—is derived from the discarded placentas of healthy newborns.
For those suffering from conditions of the foot involving soft tissues, amniotic injection therapy provides pain relief that at first blush might seem similar to that provided by cortisone shots or other treatments. But these injections do more than mask the pain of a problematic condition. Amniotic injection therapy actually restores damaged or degenerated tissue so that the body is able to resolve the underlying issue.
The result, then, of amniotic injection therapy is not just pain management but actual healing—without surgery or ongoing reliance on painkillers that may not be terribly effective over time. And there are additional benefits as well.
Benefits of Amniotic Injection Therapy
As we have noted, amniotic injection therapy takes advantage of the body’s own ability to heal and regenerate. The therapy also offers some unique advantages over other treatment options.
- Do not put the patient at risk of having the body reject a tissue transplant
- Stimulate tissue growth
- Employ naturally occurring anti-inflammatory agents rather than drugs
- Contain a substance that is a natural source of lubrication for cartilage and which also supports new growth
- Are a highly concentrated source of healthy tissue
Taken together, these benefits make amniotic injection therapy one of the most effective treatments available for a whole range of foot and ankle issues.
What Conditions Can Be Treated With Amniotic Injection Therapy?
Amniotic injection therapy can be employed to address a number of different conditions. Among them are:
- Generalized pain in the ankles or feet
- Osteoarthritic joints in the ankles or feet
- Plantar fasciitis
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Tendon, ligament, and muscle tears
- Chronic wounds
In each of these cases, amniotic injection therapy offers a route to healing that is faster, less invasive, and often significantly more effective than any other available treatments.
The Evidence—and Ongoing Success—Shows Amniotic Injection Therapy Is Safe
While amniotic injection therapy is a fairly new tool for podiatrists, you shouldn’t think of the therapy as experimental or untested. Quite the contrary, in fact.
For more than two decades, ophthalmologists and plastic surgeons have used amniotic injections. The body of evidence clearly demonstrates that the therapy is both safe and effective. More than 10,000 injections have been performed in the United States, and there have been no reports of negative side effects related to any of those injections.
In addition, amniotic tissue donors are carefully screened via a process established by the Food and Drug Administration and the American Association of Tissue Banks. This screening process ensures the safety of the tissue products.
So, again, the evidence is clear: Amniotic injection therapy is both safe and effective. That, of course, is a winning combination.
And while research is extremely important for determining the safety of any given treatment, in amniotic injection therapy, we have another resource at our disposal: our own experience. Our podiatrists—and our patients—have experienced wonderful results with no side effects. We can say with complete confidence that amniotic injection therapy can be a game-changer when it comes to treating foot and ankle conditions.
Take the First Step Toward Effective Treatment
Maybe you have been trying to ignore the pain in your feet or ankles for a long time. Maybe you have seen multiple physicians and tried multiple treatment options only to find that nothing seems to help. Maybe you have given up and have concluded you will just have to live with the pain you are experiencing.
But as we have shown, amniotic injection therapy can provide relief when other therapies have failed in the past. So, even if you have been of the opinion that your pain will never ease, it is time to take another look at your options.
If you are experiencing pain in the feet or ankles, it is time to contact InStride Carolina Podiatry Group. We have the expertise, experience, and technology to provide you with top-flight care. Our goal is to support your active lifestyle by taking exceptional care of your ankles and feet—including via the amazing innovation of amniotic injection therapy.