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Arthritis occurring on the ankle is one of the most common foot problems affecting millions of people across the globe. Ankle arthritis occurs when the cartilage in the ankle joint starts to wear down, causing debilitating pain and swelling.
Typically, whenever bones meet, a special connective tissue called the cartilage protects bone from rubbing against each other. This cartilage has a very smooth surface and provides almost zero resistance during joint movement and also act as a protective cushion between the bones.
Ankle arthritis typically occurs when the ankles have been exposed to injury, trauma, and infection or could simply develop due to old age or the “wear and tear” effect to the joint. Arthritis form as the cartilage begins to deteriorate, losing its smooth slippery surface and slowly thinning out, narrowing the joint space between the bones. These changes are easily seen on X-ray and are early signs of ankle arthritis.
How does stem cell treatment help treat ankle arthritis?
The cartilage is a unique connective tissue because it does not contain any blood vessels, the living cartilage cells or chondrocytes are supplied by diffusion. Also, these chondrocytes are bound within the matrix cavity of the cartilage and cannot migrate to the damaged areas. Hence, the repair capability of cartilage is very poor.
Stem cell treatment offers a good solution for this poor and slow healing of cartilage tissue. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells. These special cells have not assumed the morphologic and functional characteristics it will later acquire. This means stem cells have the potential to change to any type of cells. In this case, when stem cells are introduced into an arthritic or problematic joint, the stem cells will become undifferentiated and transform to specific cells to regenerate and repair damaged tissues.
Stem cells will not cause any allergic reaction since the cells are taken from the patient’s own blood. Also, amniotic stem cells can be used since the amniotic fluid contains high concentrations of stem cells.
In the past, the only way to treat chronic joint problems is thru surgery and actually replacing the joint. These days, with the help of regenerative medicine, these degenerative joint problems can be treated conservatively.
What is amniotic
stem cell therapy?
"I consider myself fortunate to have Dr. Kevin Lam as my physician, I was about to lose all hope and sign up for surgery until my father, a local hospital executive mentioned your method. I traveled from N.C. to see Dr. Lam and I am glad I did."
D.A. North Carolina