Candria Foot and Ankle Specialists
Podiatry located in Londonderry, NH & Salem, NH
Stem Cell Therapy Q & A
What is stem cell therapy?
Stem cell therapy is one of many regenerative medicine techniques. These treatments use naturally occurring cells taken from human tissues. These potent cells promote healing and the growth of new, healthy tissue.
Traditional treatments are designed to artificially override the body’s natural healing process, which, over the long term, can have profoundly adverse effects. One of the common complications of traditional steroid injections is the build-up of scar tissue and weakening of the collagen fibers in our ligaments, tendons, and cartilage.
However, regenerative medicine builds on the well-established use of biologic therapy, which uses specific cells from the immune system to treat serious diseases like cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.
Stem cell therapy is a simple process in which Dr. Cancelliere injects the stem cells into the part of your foot or ankle that’s damaged or causing pain. It’s a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that only takes a few minutes.
Having the stem cell injection feels much the same as having a flu shot, and most patients experience minimal discomfort. If you have sensitive skin or don’t like needles, you can apply an anesthetic cream to your skin to numb it before your treatment.
Stem cells are a natural product containing human cells. These can either be taken from your bone marrow or fatty tissues, or they can come from a donor. Because there’s no artificial additives or pharmaceuticals contained in the stem cell injection, there’s little chance of experiencing any adverse reaction to the treatment.
How does stem cell therapy work?
Stem cells are unique because, unlike all the other cells in your body, they can change themselves into different types of cells. Before a baby is born, it has high quantities of stem cells in its body, as it’s going through such an intense period of growth and change.
The stem cells can become whatever the growing baby needs, from heart and brain cells to bone and connective tissue cells. As you get older, you have far fewer stem cells in your body, so injecting extra ones can give your body’s natural healing abilities a real boost.
Stem cells amplify your ability to grow healthy new tissue, so further healing and tissue regeneration can take place. This is particularly helpful when you have an old injury that won’t heal properly or a buildup of scar tissue that’s causing chronic pain.
What conditions benefit from stem cell therapy?
Stem cell therapy and other forms of regenerative medicine are relatively new forms of treatment, and their full potential isn’t yet known. Dr. Cancelliere uses them to help with a variety of foot and ankle problems, including:
- Sprained ankles
- Achilles tendon injuries
- Plantar fasciitis
- Acute cartilage damage
Stem cells could also be useful to promote healthy tissue growth after sustaining a fracture or for postsurgical recovery. Stem cells provide two major beneficial effects:
1. the express extremely powerful signaling proteins once they identify inflamed or damaged cells that reverse the expression of the inflammatory markers by those cells.
2. reprograming the damaged and inflamed cell to repair and regenerate. This, in turn, causes a drastic decrease in inflammation (which is the primary cause of the pain) and a dramatic decrease in the amount of scar tissue developed. This results in healthy, strong and vascularized tissue formation. These two key factors are involved in the process of aging.
In brief, aging occurs when the damage and inflammation of our cells occurs at a rate superior to our ability to repair and regenerate. This occurs because as we age, we lose our stem cells. Special stem cells can be injected intravenously and can reverse this process and allow our body to regenerate itself.
If you’d like to know more about stem cell therapy and what it could do for you, call Candria Foot & Ankle Specialists, or use the online booking tool to make an appointment.