Stem cell therapy is one of the newer treatment methods offered by Dr. Wayne Hurst, DPM, FACFAS, of Foot Specialists of Austin, Cedar Park, and Georgetown. Serving the residents of Austin, Cedar Park and Georgetown, Texas.
Stem cells are specialized cells that can change from generalized to more specialized forms. They can also create multiple copies of themselves. This self-renewing property means the body has a pool of cells available for repairing injured or damaged tissues. The human embryo, for example, is a collection of stem cells that gradually develop into different organs, blood cells, bones, skin and other kinds of tissue. Research indicates stem cells have the capability to repair or even replace other body tissues, which could make them helpful in healing injuries or disease. Stem cells can be harvested from embryo tissues, which is often controversial even if the cells are grown in a lab, or from the patient's own body.
One kind of stem cell therapy -- bone marrow treatment -- has been in use for over 30 years. It is used for patients who have blood cancers like leukemia. In this case, the patient's own bone marrow is suppressed with intensive radiation treatments, and new bone marrow is injected. The stem cells take over the task of making new healthy blood cells. Stem cells are also used for arthritis and degenerative problems like joint disease and spinal disc problems, and to grow new skin for patients with severe burns. Research is currently underway to see if stem cells could be used to test new medications or generate new tissues and organs for transplant purposes.
In podiatry, stem cells are currently being used to treat foot and ankles injuries that involve damage to joints, ligaments, muscles and/or tendons. Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and other chronic foot injuries may respond to stem cell treatment. Sometimes when a bone is broken, the ends won't knit together -- a condition called non-union. A bone graft has been the standard of care, but stem cell injections seem to be effective in forming new bone and speeding the healing of the fracture. Physical therapy is also a part of stem cell therapy in podiatry, as the exercise promotes circulation and helps speed the regeneration process.
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"I can't thank you enough for the quality of care, as well as the improvement with the foot injection! You are a rock star!"
"Dr. Hurst was very kind and extremely knowledgeable when it came to my foot pain. I would recommend that if you are in pain, go see Dr Hurst and his wonderful team."
"You're treated like an old friend right down to the hug you get. Most importantly, the results seem to be working."
"Dr. Hurst is truly a Specialist in his field and I would not ever again consider anyone else taking care of my foot problems."