Ankle stem cell therapy? PR is a 65 year old with a one year history of an ankle problem injury by stepping off a curb. At the time, he felt severe pain on the inside of his ankle and the MRI a few months later demonstrated a swollen tendon. After being in ankle pain for about a year, he was ultimately given few treatment options outside of medications and a possible ankle fusion surgery at some point in the future. He was first seen by our clinic in November of 2010 and what jumped out on his exam was a pronated ankle caused by deltoid ligament laxity. The deltoid ligament is on the inside of the ankle and is the “duct tape” that prevents the ankle joints from collapsing inward. While everyone else was focused on his swollen tendon, a hands on exam and time spent observing the ankle showed that the ankle was pronating due to the stretched out deltoid ligament and this was pulling too hard on the tendon. This extra pulling on the tendon caused it to swell. Based on this information, the area that needed stem cell treatment wasn’t the swollen tendon, but the stretched out deltoid ligament. To complicate matters, he also presented with a pinched S1 nerve in his low back and tarsal tunnel syndrome (nerve irritation at the tibial nerve). The patient was treated with the Regenexx-SD procedure by direct injection of his own stem cells into the deltoid ligament under ultrasound guidance. He also needed additional injections to tighten the deltoid ligament so that the ankle wouldn’t collapse inward. He reports this week that initial pain relief (after nothing was working including physical therapy, bracing, and medications) was 90% which has now settled into to 70% over about a year. We’re glad to hear that PR is doing well and while not a perfect solution, stem cells gave his ankle a solution that helped him avoid an eventual ankle fusion.
About the Author
Christopher J. Centeno, M.D. is an international expert and specialist in regenerative medicine and the clinical use of mesenchymal stem cells in orthopedics. He is board certified in physical medicine as well as rehabilitation and in pain management through The American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.…