Regenerative medicine sounds almost like science fiction—just wave a little scanner with a beam over a cut or a broken bone, and the problem goes away instantly. While we haven’t quite gotten to that level of technology yet, regenerative medicine is a very exciting (and very real) emerging field that is providing incredible results for patients, including for conditions that were previously thought to be incurable or impossible to fix without surgery. But what is it?
The full answer is a little complicated, but the shorter version is this: regenerative medicine is all about replacing, retraining, regenerating, or otherwise stimulating your body’s own natural cells and cellular processes to bring about healing. It might be helpful to think about it this way—rather than directly fixing an injury (which may or may not be advisable depending on the circumstances), the doctor enables your body to fix itself.
One prominent example of regenerative medicine that we use in our office at Austin Foot & Ankle Specialists is laser therapy. This state-of-the-art technology uses beams of light, tuned to highly specific wavelengths, that trigger increased metabolism and anti-inflammatory responses in your body’s cells. Circulation improves, pain and swelling recede, and the natural healing process accelerates, repairing damaged or diseased tissue. Foot pain such as plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, neuromas, arthritis, and even wounds or nerve pain can be treated in this manner.
Other regenerative technologies we might use or prescribe include:
- Extracorporeal pulse activation technology (EPAT), which uses pressure waves to stimulate cellular activity.
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, in which we draw a small sample of your blood, separate out and activate the platelets (which contain growth factors critical for injury repair), then recombine and reinject into the site of injury.
- Amniogenic therapy, in which a mixture of amniotic tissue and fluid—voluntarily donated by mothers after a healthy childbirth—is injected into the damaged tissues. This helps promote growth and rejuvenation at the site of injury.
Regenerative medicine techniques are especially useful for chronic pain and lingering injuries that just haven’t responded well to more conservative treatments. Now, rather than a more invasive surgical procedure, we can instead offer a regenerative technology, which tends to have high success rates and few if any side effects. They may also be used in applications as diverse as neuropathy and wound care, too.
The Austin Foot & Ankle Specialists team prides itself on offering the highest quality care, most advanced techniques, and state-of-the-art technology and facilities to their patients. To schedule an appointment with us at any of our Austin, TX locations, please call (512) 328-8900.