Your feet are highly complex structures that contain 25% of all the bones in your body. Each foot has about 28 bones, 30 joints, and more than 100 muscles connected by an intricate network of ligaments and tendons designed to keep you upright as you go about your daily activities. That’s a lot of hardware packed into a small body part!
Due to the heavy loads placed on the feet with almost any activity, whether it’s recreation, sports or work, foot and ankle pains are a common occurrence. Repetitive stresses on the feet cause microscopic tears of tendons and ligaments that can quickly worsen if left untreated.
You may obtain relief with rest, anti-inflammatory medication, use of orthotics, and physical therapy. However, the problem with tendon injuries are that they heal very slowly because there is less blood flow to tendons as compared to other body tissues (skin, muscles, and even bone). In some cases, there may not be proper regrowth of the tendon due to lack of tendon cells, collagen break down, and absence of growth factors to complete the healing process. Here’s where amniotic injections may help.
Amniotic injections contain stem cells, growth factors, anti-inflammatory proteins, and extracellular matrix proteins obtained from amniotic fluid & membrane derived from the womb that would otherwise be discarded after delivery. These naturally occurring substances can help stimulate healing of chronic injuries by:
- Reducing inflammation
- Minimizing scar formation
- Stimulating re-growth of soft tissue
The therapy will involve administration of amniotic injections into the site of injury such as the plantar fascia or a tendon. In case of an open wound or ulcer, a special tissue may be used to cover the wound before the injection. The amniotic injections can be provided in one office visit or spread out over a few visits depending on the severity of the condition.
Unlike a cortisone injection that aims to reduced inflammation, an amniotic injection can potentially provide long-lasting benefits as it causes regeneration of damaged tissue. It may even be an effective alternative to more invasive surgical procedures.
If you have been dealing with a chronic foot and ankle pain that has not resolved with conservative therapy, you may be a candidate for amniotic injections.
Dr. Ho is an orthopedic foot and ankle specialist who treats all disorders of the foot and ankle including arthritis, tendon ruptures, deformities, acute trauma and fractures, repair of non-unions, total ankle replacements and repair of cartilage lesions. Book an appointment today for an accurate assessment and treatment of your foot and ankle condition.