Everything You Need to Know About Stem Cell Therapy

If you’ve poked around in the health community at all, you’ve probably heard the terms “stem cell therapy” or even “regenerative medicine” being thrown around more often lately. In fact, this innovative therapy is becoming more prominent in the world of sports as athletes like Missouri-native MLB star Max Scherzer use stem cells to recover and get back in the game. In recent years, the use of regenerative stem cell therapy has expanded and can even be found in the treatment of several common foot and ankle issues.

But what exactly is stem cell therapy, and who would benefit from this procedure? Find out in our blog below:

What are Stem Cells?

Stem cells are pretty unique. They differ from other cells in your body because they have the ability to change into specialized cells and divide to produce even more stem cells. They come in two forms: embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells can turn into more than one type of cell. Meanwhile, adult stem cells, which can be found in certain types of tissue, have a narrowed capacity to transform into other cells.

What is the Role of Stem Cell Therapy in Podiatry?

Let’s say you have an injured ankle. Stem cell therapy can be used to heal your ankle’s soft tissues. Your podiatrist will introduce the stem cells into the affected ankle, and these cells will then begin repairing the damaged tissue! Additionally, these newly-injected cells will tap nearby cells to help out with fixing your ailment. This will help reduce inflammation quickly while accelerating the healing process!

Is It Safe?

Absolutely! Stem cells occur naturally within the human body, so treatment is incredibly safe.

What are the Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy?

Aside from it being a natural and safe procedure, stem cell therapy boasts several other benefits to the patient. The clinically proven process is effective as it targets the cause of the injury (rather than treating the symptoms). Injections are painless with no incisions required, and patients experience a full healing quickly.

Who Should Receive Stem Cell Therapy?

Fortunately, this treatment effectively treats an array of podiatric conditions, including:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic ankle sprains
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Other conditions that have historically been challenging to treat

Want to learn more about regenerative stem cell therapy? Call the knowledgeable doctors at The Foot & Ankle Center at (314) 487-9300. We’re constantly learning more about the latest podiatric technology so we can provide you with the high quality treatment you deserve.

Podiatry for Children: Ailments and Injuries

When it comes to ailments and injuries related to a child’s feet or ankles, finding an experienced podiatrist vs. a pediatrician will minimize the number of doctor appointments and lead to a faster overall recovery. Like adults, children are susceptible to developmental issues, sports accidents, or even a lack of proper hygiene. Here are a few examples of what The Foot & Ankle Center treats for children.

Development-Related Ailments

There are multiple ailments that people are either born with or experience while growing up. The sooner these are recognized, the better. This is especially true when it comes to the lower body, as taking one’s first steps is a major milestone. Examples include:

  • Flat Feet – With little to no arch, one’s feet may lay flat on the ground, unable to provide proper support for the rest of the body. This is one of the first developmental issues a parent may notice. However, a baby’s arch does need time to form.
  • Hammertoes – Toes that cannot bend or flex properly. They tend to form when the toe’s muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints experience a significant amount of pressure. Flat feet are a leading cause, with genetics also taking a main role.
  • Bone Spurs – Extra bones that the body will produce as growths. While typically formed in order to repair damage from aging and osteoarthritis, it is possible to be found in children following their birth.

Sports-Related Injuries

As children become more active in sports, they also become more prone to injury. This is why wearing the proper gear is essential. Each sport comes with a different risk, but most injuries can be avoided. Examples include:

  • Plantar Fasciitis – A common form of inflammation found in the heel. For a child, this type of injury can occur after prolonged activities involving running or dancing.
  • Tendinitis – Another form inflammation found in the tendons of children who are just beginning a sport. If they are not used to moving around at a fast pace, their tendons may become aggravated and cause pain. 
  • Stress Fractures – Hairline breaks in the bone often caused by a repeated action that involves a high amount of impact or stress. This includes activities like jumping or stomping.

Hygiene-Related Ailments

Improper hygiene can result in several ailments in the feet. According to the CDC, many diseases and conditions can be prevented or controlled through appropriate personal hygiene and by frequently washing parts of the body and hair with soap and clean, running water. Examples include:

  • Athlete’s Foot – A fungus found on the skin, caused by damp environments. Children most likely encounter this when they do not change out of sweaty socks or forget to dry their feet after a trip to a public pool.
  • Ingrown Toenails – Toenails that have grown into one’s skin. When nails are not properly cut, the result is pain and infection.
  • Toenail Fungus – An infection that thrives on the toenail or underneath the skin. Having a yellow appearance, this fungus causes the nails to thicken and easily break off. Athlete’s foot, if left untreated, can be a leading cause.

Kid-Friendly Doctors

Our knowledgeable doctors at The Foot & Ankle Center work with patients of all ages on a daily basis. They will assess your child’s needs and recommend treatment that is specialized to them. A few of our doctors are parents, too! Feel free to meet each of them online before scheduling an appointment. Then, request an appointment by emailing judym@facstl.com, or filling out our appointment form online.

Here’s What You Need to Know About CBD Oil and Your Feet

If you’ve kept up with the trends and celebrity news, you might have heard about what some of the stars walking down the red carpet are trying these days. Before donning their sky-high heels, some celebrities slather their toes and feet in CBD oil to help prevent pain so they can wear their heels for hours on end. Others use the balm to help ease general heel pain. Even though our favorite movie stars are using CBD oil to relieve feet pain, is it really beneficial, or it just another trend? We’ve got the scoop right here:

What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the many chemical compounds that can be found in the cannabis herb. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not psychoactive and is used as a therapeutic, anti-inflammatory cure to what may ail you. You can usually find it in the form of a topical salve or oral drops.

How CBD Oil May Help Relieve Your Foot Pain

CBD oil is an organic, all-natural product that is well tolerated. According to Organic Facts, the reason why CBD is effective is due to the body’s endogenous cannabinoid system. “This regulatory structure of the body has millions of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and nervous system, which react not only to plant-derived cannabinoids…but also to natural cannabinoids produced within our body. When hemp oil is used and processed by the body, it is effectively boosting the function of the endocannabinoid system, helping our body regulate itself in many different ways.”

Here’s how CBD oil may relieve the pain you’ve been experiencing:

Tackles General Aches and Pain

Foot pain is nothing to laugh at. We often take our feet for granted and don’t notice them until they begin hurting – then our daily lives are interrupted and excruciating. CBD oil can help relieve general foot pain you may experience, much like taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It has also been shown to help reduce pain related to multiple sclerosis and arthritis. Of course, if your pain persists after a few days, you should see your podiatrist for a proper diagnosis.

Relieves Blisters

Blisters happen to everyone at some time, whether you’re a professional athlete or an office worker who wore a new pair of shoes without breaking them in first. CBD oil is chock-full of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help treat blisters. Simply apply some CBD skin cream on the affected area a few times a day – you should notice that your blisters heal more quickly.

Reduces Inflammation

CBD oil excels in reducing and preventing inflammation, especially if you enjoy wearing high heels. Rub it on before you don your shoes for the day, and you should experience less pain. You can also apply more on the affected areas when you’re home.

Eases Arthritis

If you’ve experienced arthritis, you know just how painful it can be. Symptoms of podiatric arthritis often include stiffness, pain, tenderness, swelling, and in some cases, reduced mobility. Arthritis doesn’t have to slow you down – CBD oil can treat the inflammation and pain that the condition brings.

The Takeaway Foot and heel pain can be debilitating and frustrating. CBD oil could be an effective way of treating your symptoms. However, if you’re experiencing persistent pain in your feet or ankles, we highly recommend seeing your friends at The Foot & Ankle Center. We can help properly diagnose the problem and provide you with a fitting solution to help you get back on your feet. Schedule an appointment with us today!

Expectations for Advanced Corrective Foot and Ankle Surgery

There’s a reason why your primary doctor will recommend a podiatrist when you are experiencing pain in your lower extremities. Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in the examination and treatment of the feet and ankles. When conservative healing methods no longer work for one’s injury or condition, podiatric surgery is required. There are several expectations that come with advanced corrective foot and ankle surgery. The Foot & Ankle Center, in particular, offers:

Podiatrists with Years of Experience

A reasonable expectation from patients is that they want their surgeon to have performed their particular procedure numerous times beforehand. We’re proud to provide certified doctors who have 30+ years of experience in operating through corrective surgery. Visit our Meet Our Doctors page to learn more about each of our knowledgeable podiatrists.

Local Procedures

In order to make your comfort and convenience our priority, The Foot & Ankle Center has several locations including St. Louis, St, Charles, Creve Coeur, Shrewsbury, Granite City, and Fairview Heights. Anticipate an in-office procedure to take place, but know that our surgical center is also offered on an outpatient basis. Having performed over 50,000 surgeries, we are confident that you will be able to schedule what works best for you.

Multiple Corrective Surgeries

Here you will find several types of surgery including Achilles tendon, ankle, arthritis, arthroscopy, bunion, hammertoe, heel, metatarsal, nerve (neuroma), and toe surgery. Also, cyst removal and flat foot correction is available.

Effective Recovery Steps

Following your procedure, you can look forward to a comprehensive recovery plan to get you back on your feet in no time. Part of that includes lying down or reclining with your surgically-repaired appendage kept in an elevated position. Ice will help to avoid swelling, while casts and bandages may be required depending on the type of procedure. It may take various amounts of time for each injury or condition to fully heal, but be ready to take it especially easy during the first two weeks after surgery.

Additional Therapy and Treatments

No matter what you need moving forward, we’re here for you. Whether it’s recommending physical therapy or custom orthotics, we want you to recover without any setbacks.

Still unsure if The Foot & Ankle Center is right for you? Request an appointment to see a podiatrist in person today by visiting our website or calling (314) 487-9300.

6 Winter Tips for Foot and Ankle Support

Welcome to winter! Over the next couple of months, even Bigfoot’s cousin the Abominable Snowman will wish it had a cozy pair of socks to wear. Speaking of feet, did you know that they actually lose heat faster than the rest of the body? Feet interact with frigid surfaces more often than any other extremity thanks to walking. It’s a good thing there are a few different ways to keep your feet warm and ankles protected. Check out the Foot & Ankle Center’s 6 winter tips:

Bundle Up Tight

Layers are crucial when the weather is below freezing. Putting on hats, scarves, coats, and gloves is common knowledge, so bundling up your toes should be, too. One way to avoid cold feet is to double up on socks. Boots or shoes that you can fit in comfortably will also come in handy. Choose ones made from waterproof materials that include a bulky sole to help keep in as much heat as possible.

Dry Your Feet

Waterproof boots keep water out, but they also keep sweat in. A warm body produces sweat to cool itself down. That’s why it’s important to keep your feet dry at all times. A damp foot may even lead to athlete’s foot as wet socks and shoes are perfect environments for fungus to grow. Take the time to use a towel and change your socks daily.

Change Shoes Onsite

When it’s a high heel or dress shoe kind of day, pack them in a bag and wear the proper footwear outside first. You can always change when you arrive at your destination. Navigating the icy sidewalks is already difficult enough with supportive shoes. Don’t risk twisting an ankle just to look fashionable.

Inspect Sports Equipment

In order to avoid a winter sports injury, make sure to wear the proper equipment at all times. This would include ice skates for skating or hockey, and boots for skiing or snowboarding. Skating in particular leads to a few common foot injuries. Improper use of any gear, like having loose shoelaces, can result in serious fractures or sprains.

Take Advantage of Foot Warmers

Foot warmers are portable packets that reach scorching temperatures after being exposed to oxygen. Perfect for storing inside your shoe, they are an effective alternative to wearing multiple pairs of socks. However, direct contact with the skin may result in a burn injury. Take extra caution when placing and removing them.

See a Podiatrist

It’s always best to seek medical attention sooner rather than later when it comes to pain. Did you know that a podiatrist specializes in treating feet and ankles? Save yourself a trip to the doctor by calling the Foot & Ankle Center at 314-487-9300 or requesting an appointment online. Our medical staff will work to diagnose your discomfort and offer treatment as soon as possible.