Foot and Ankle Arthritis (and What to Do About Them) - Stem Cell Centers, Regenerative Stem Cell Therapy

Foot and Ankle Arthritis (and What to Do About Them)

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Almost half of adults age 60 to 80 have arthritis in their feet and don’t even know it because they experience no symptoms. If you’re not one of the lucky ones, your ankle and foot arthritis is likely to cause these symptoms:

  1. Pain and stiffness, making it difficult to walk normally
  2. Tender joints that feel warm to the touch
  3. Misshapen ankles and toes
  4. Numbness and tingling spreading from the affected joint

Don’t want to live with these types of symptoms on the daily? Here are some tips for what you can do about ankle and foot arthritis and how stem cell therapy can soothe your pain and symptoms!


Arthritis: What to Know

Arthritis is an umbrella term given to describe conditions that affect the joints of the body. There are approximately 360 different joints in your body, and those joints are the points of attachment connecting your different bones to one another. Because there are so many joints, there are over 100 different types of arthritis, many of which can make small movements seem impossible.


Foot and ankle arthritis make up a few different types of arthritis our patients can have. The type you have will depend on where it is located in the body and how your joint is affected. For example, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common types of arthritis people have in the United States. Osteoarthritis affects about 27 million Americans, while RA affects 1.3 Americans a year. RA most commonly affects patients between the ages of 30 and 60, while osteoarthritis affects people most commonly over age 50.


Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Both of these types of arthritis will affect the joints and cushiony cartilage between the joints differently. In your joints, you have rubbery-like cartilage that covers the ends of your bones where they connect to your joints. That cartilage makes it so movements are smooth and comfortable. Over time, cushiony cartilage will start to break down and wear away with OA due to wear and tear, exercise or chronic conditions. Then, the joints start to grind together, making movements painful.


With RA, the body’s immune system mistakenly starts to identify the substances between your joints—that cartilage—as foreign bodies that shouldn’t be there. This system creates an inflammatory response that acts as a type of acid to the cartilage of the joints. Inflammation over time is bad for the body because it creates breakdown, swelling, pain and more. The inflammation created by your body’s immune response will wear away cartilage tissue. Because the mechanism for why your body does this is not quite understood, there is no cure for RA. However, you can slow down the effects of RA-type arthritis in the foot and ankle and other parts of the body.


Foot and Ankle Arthritis

NYU Langone Health reports that there are around 30 different types of arthritis’ in your foot and ankle because 30 different joints can be affected. As cartilage breaks down, bones grind together, making walking and ankle movement painful. Many patients also begin to see both growths develop as a result of bones rubbing on one another. That can hinder joint motion over time, especially when deformity in the feet develop, changing their shape.


Patients will generally get OA, RA or post-traumatic arthritis in their foot and ankle, which is arthritis that develops after an injury has healed. Foot and ankle arthritis most commonly happens in the big toe, midfoot, ankle (where many bones pivot during walking) and hindfoot. Arthritis in the ankle may affect your motion the most, as this is where many of the joints move and flex the leg to allow you to run, walk, jump and stand.


The goal with rehabilitative therapy and regenerative medicine is to calm down inflammation so we slow down or stop cartilage breakdown altogether. With stem cell injections, we can send ample stem cell solutions into at-risk or damaged joint areas to break up inflammation while lubricating a joint so it can move without pain.


Stem Cell Injections for Your Pain

As we mentioned, there is no cure for RA, as your body’s built-in immune system is what is attacking your joints. You have to have that immune system in order to live. For arthritis types that are RA types, stem cell injections can really help calm down inflammation attacking the joints. These injections can help all types of arthritis because there is some level of inflammation or lack of lubrication that is leading to cartilage breakdown and pain.


You will either get a liquid stem cell solution to replace inflammation that’s hurting your joints or you get the stem cell solution to lubricate a joint that has no lubrication (like with osteoarthritis). Stem cells are neutral cells that are built into your body to help you heal after injury. When you’re injured, your body has a reserve of cells that rush to the site of injury alongside blood platelets. These neutral cells are able to replicate and become the type of cell that was damaged, which is how you have scabs form to heal damaged wounds. The area heals back thanks to cells in the area combining with stems cells in your body.


With stem cell injections, we take donated stem cell sources or stem cells from your own body. We then inject them into areas of damage (like joints in the foot and ankle affected by arthritis) so that the area of damage has a large amount of cells to potentially help rebuild the area. Studies show that stem cell injections both lubricate the area for easier movement and they are anti-inflammatory in nature, helping to calm down that inflammation breakdown of the joint. If you want to have healing and pain relief at the same time for your foot and ankle pain, call Stem Cell Centers today at (877) 808-0016 for your free consultation!