An Ankle that Didn't Respond Permanently

POSTED ON 8/25/2012 IN Regenerative Medicine Education BY Christopher Centeno

ankle stem cell injection


LB was a 51 year old woman and avid walker when she was first evaluated by us in August of 2010. At that point she was walking with a limp due to a three year history of ankle pain and using a hiking pole to get by. Her ankle was severely degenerated especially in the sub-talar joint (below the main ankle joint). She also had severe ligament disruption and laxity. She was placed in the POOR-FAIR candidacy range based on her MRI and exam. In August of 201o she underwent a Regenexx-SD ankle stem cell injection with a second procedure where the main ankle joint and ligaments were injected in October of 2010. I recently communicated with Linda to see how she fared. Overall she got about a year of relief, but then her ankle pain returned to being the same as it was prior to the procedure.

"You may find the following information interesting.  A month ago I had a special scan of my ankle as I am proceeding toward having a prosthetic ankle replacement done in October this year.  The scan involved intravenous radio-active substance that would show heat /inflammation activity in arthritic joint. After our procedures we were both able to say we thought something had happened in the inflamed area but not sure what. Both felt cartilage had not taken but something was different. 

Anyway, this scintograph showed hot in much of the right foot. The arthritis having now spread. HOWEVER the one place that it did not show any activity was in the sub-talar joint.  This was the very spot that it all started and the focus of the stem cell treatment.  I know some injections were placed into other areas but the spot that had been giving me most grief was the sub-talar joint.  The specialist that I am presently seeing could not understand why the sub-talar did not show up on the scan. We did try telling him about the stem cell treatment. The s.t. joint is still in a very bad condition and there is no doubt it is not getting any better but I think I have proof that your treatment did something. 

I had about a year of relief which enabled me to strengthen the overall support structure which in turn has helped me stay active with less pain."

The upshot? We believe in transparency. Stem cell injections aren't magic and we didn't think she was a good candidate for these procedures given the severity of her arthritis. Having said that, the bone scan results are interesting. Bottom-line, while we're impressed with the results of these procedures, it's important to note that not everyone gets a long-term response.

NOTE:  Regenexx-SD is a medical procedure and like all medical procedures has a success and failure rate.  Not all Regenexx-SD patients can expect this result.

  1. ankle
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