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PRP Foot Therapy:

Using Growth Factors to Treat Injuries

First used in the early 1990s for plastic surgery patients, podiatric injections in Rancho Santa Margarita have since become an increasingly common treatment option for patients with soft tissue injuries. These injections deliver a higher concentration of beneficial growth factors to injured muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. This page explains how the treatment works and how it may help with problems affecting feet — particularly injuries involving the Achilles tendon and ankle ligaments.

Which Types of Foot Injuries May Benefit?

Besides the conditions mentioned above, podiatric injections may also benefit patients with other foot injuries and conditions that typically affect tissues, including:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Foot and ankle pain not responding to other treatments
  • Ankle sprains
  • Pain from arthritis affecting joints and tissues in feet
  • Ligament damage affecting foot/ankle stability
  • Non-healing diabetic foot ulcers
  • Achilles tendinosis
  • Partial tendon tears
  • Arthritis in the ankle
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Learn More about PRP Treatment at Foot & Ankle Specialty Group

What are Podiatric Injections?

Your blood cells play an important role in clotting and tissue healing. Specifically, it’s the proteins called “growth factors” in these cells that help with the healing process. By using podiatric injections in Newport Beach that have been specially formulated using PRP (platelet-rich plasma) from the patient’s own blood cells, a high concentration of growth factors can be directed at the desired area to strengthen tendons and ligaments and to restore flexibility and stability. 

When used around feet or ankles, PRP foot therapy may be used to facilitate the healing of tendon and ligament injuries. Achilles tendinitis, for instance, is a common injury experienced by competitive runners. This type of injury often causes the heel cord to become inflamed. Podiatric injections would be placed directly into the inflamed tissue (the heel cord, in this instance). 

PRP foot therapy has also shown promise in healing foot and ankle wounds caused by diseases like diabetes. The therapy eliminates the need for more invasive treatments like surgery and painful steroid injections into the muscles, tendons, or ligaments.

Doctor Administering Prp Foot Therapy In Newport Beach.
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Why do Podiatrists Prefer Podiatric Injections?

Podiatrists continue to prefer injectable therapy for patients because these methods are non-invasive, pain-free, and faster from which to heal. They also use growth factors when possible in treating ankle and foot conditions because they have a low rejection rate and can be safer to use than other remedies like surgery or steroids. In addition, doctors can administer the therapy in a single session rather than have the patient come back for frequent and continued treatments.

These therapies have advanced podiatric medicine and now allow doctors to treat injuries and illnesses for which surgery or steroids were once the only available remedies. Patients can avoid invasive treatments as well as prolonged pain and limited mobility, and can get back to their normal routines faster without undergoing prolonged medical care.

Using Growth Factors

This specialized technique uses base cells that have the capability of growing into specialized cells. They are considered to be foundation material because of their potential to transform into specialized cells and their ability to adapt to bone, tissue, organs, and blood into which they are injected.

In PRP foot therapy, the growth factors to be used are taken directly from a patient’s body. The cells are taken from fat deposits in the thighs, abdomen, buttocks, and other locations deemed safe for use. The doctor will then create a concentrated amount of growth factors that will be injected directly into the area being treated. 

How Podiatric Injections Work

It’s believed that the extra concentration of blood cells to the injury site speeds up the healing process because of the abundance of growth factors, which may be up to 5-10 times greater than what’s in a typical blood sample. Once the concentrated blood is prepared, a live x-ray or ultrasound may be used to help the doctor direct the injection to the appropriate location in the foot or ankle. This treatment is sometimes used to improve healing after surgery, as may be the case if a torn or severely damaged tendon in the foot requires surgery. A specially prepared version is used if the treatment is administered during surgery.

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What Happens After Podiatric Injections?

Most patients can go home within a few hours after their PRP foot therapy treatment. Patients also only need to rest a few days after the injections before they can return to their normal routines. It’s important that they follow their doctor’s post-treatment instructions to ensure the proper healing of their podiatric illness or injury.

Some patients may have minor irritation around the injection site after receiving the podiatric injections, but this is usually temporary. There may be a slight increase in discomfort after the injection is given. This occurs when the local anesthetic wears off, although any increased pain usually goes away within a few weeks once the platelet-rich plasma begins to work on tissues to stimulate healing.

Possible benefits of this treatment for patients with foot pain include shorter duration physical therapy programs. For most common foot injuries treated with orthopedic injections, short-course physical therapy typically begins about a month after treatment. The purpose of PRP foot therapy is to strengthen tendons and ligaments and restore foot and ankle flexibility and stability.

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Potential Benefits of Podiatric Injections

In addition to reducing physical therapy and rehab time, prp foot therapy on Newport Beach may also help patients with persistent foot pain delay or to avoid surgery. Patients might also be able to avoid cortisone injections and similar treatments that, while beneficial, do not treat the underlying cause of a patient’s pain. Repeated steroid injections also weaken tendons and ligaments over time. Since growth factor treatment stimulates tissue healing, it may provide more than just temporary relief.

FAQs

Who typically chooses to undergo podiatric injections?

How many podiatric injections are given?

Who typically chooses to undergo podiatric injections?

While podiatric injections are often used by top athletes looking to get back in prime condition faster, they have also produced positive results for other types of patients — including those with foot injuries and pain from conditions affecting feet. However, this therapy is usually only recommended if traditional treatment options aren’t effective. Since a patient’s own blood is used, risks are minimal.

How many podiatric injections are given?

Typically, patients will start with one injection. If relief is experienced after the initial injection, follow-up injections may be given. If no relief is reported, other treatments will be recommended. When the treatment is successful, additional treatments may include 3-5 injections or more, depending on what results are experienced.

Podiatric Injections at Foot & Ankle Specialty Group

Patients who suffer from ankle or feet injuries or illnesses may believe that their treatment will span weeks or months. They assume they must undergo invasive remedies like surgery or painful steroid injections. However, podiatrists increasingly prefer to use cutting-edge treatments such as podiatric injectables to help patients with ankle and feet conditions. If you’re interested to see what these treatments can do for you, we invite you to contact us to make an appointment. Foot & Ankle Specialty Group is a podiatry clinic that has served the Rancho Santa Margarita and Newport Beach area since 2001. Dr. Salma Aziz, Dr. Petrina Yokay, and Dr. Jessica Arneson provide exceptional care and follow-up for each and every patient. 

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