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biologicsBiologics are treatments that have been produced from living organisms or that contain components of living organisms. Some examples used in podiatry include stem cell injections, PRP injections, amniotic tissue, bone marrow, and biologic grafts.

Stem Cell Therapy

Depending on the nature of the injury or condition, certain foot and ankle conditions can be treated with stem cell therapy. These can include arthritis, ligament sprains or tears, Achilles tendinitis, and a myriad of other conditions.

In stem cell therapy, stem cells are withdrawn from the bone marrow and concentrated before being re-injected directly into the injured tissues of the foot or ankle. The stem cells then enhance the natural repair process of the injured tendons, ligaments, or arthritic joints.

Patients who have undergone stem cell therapy are typically able to return to normal activity much faster than those who have undergone invasive surgery.

PRP Injections

Platelet rich plasma, or PRP, is blood taken from a patient and spun in a centrifuge, concentrating the number of platelets and growth factors. This plasma, containing a very high concentration of platelets, is re-injected into the site of injury or damage, inducing the body to repair damage to muscle, tendons, ligaments, and soft tissue. Although the body does this naturally when an injury occurs, the PRP helps speed the healing process.

Many injuries to the foot do not heal well due to poor blood supply to the area. This prevents healing platelets and growth factors carried by the blood from getting to the injury site. PRP injections can help fix this problem and speed recovery.

Common injuries of the feet such as ankle sprains, Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis, as well as acute and chronic tendon and joint diseases such as arthritis, can all be treated with PRP injections. This treatment, being minimally invasive, means that surgery can be avoided and recovery time can be cut down. Combining exercise or physical therapy with PRP injections can help increase the treatment’s success.

Amniotic Tissue

An amniotic allograft is a tissue graft created from the amniotic membrane of a human placenta. Amniotic allografts have been historically useful in the modulation of inflammation, reduction of scar tissue formation, and enhancement of the healing of soft tissue. They contain naturally occurring growth factors, or powerful agents that our bodies produce to instruct cells to travel to target site, help the site recover, and help your cells reconstruct damaged tissue. Amniotic allografts have been shown to reduce pain at the site of application and have various antibacterial properties.

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