Ankle Surgery Alternative: Using Interventional Orthopedics to Treat Cartilage and Bone Lesions without Surgery

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ankle surgery alternative

You’re not going to see this ankle surgery alternative using interventional orthopedics anywhere else on earth (outside of select qualified Regenexx network providers).

This patient  is a Cirque du Soleil performer with a nasty cartilage lesion in the tibial part (top) of the main ankle joint. She didn’t start out seeking an ankle surgery alternative. Instead, since she had intact but poor cartilage (chondromalcia or literally “bad cartilage” in Latin) and a surgeon performed a debridement of the cartilage (read removed it) and then an ankle micro fracture surgery (read poked holes in the bone). This left her with a hole in the cartilage and a pit in the bone. She then developed a large bone cyst adjacent to the pit and large bone marrow lesions, so she had an issue both in the bone as well as in the joint.

The procedure you see above is using a small 15 gauge special needle to place stem cells into the exact location of her bone lesion (subchondroplasty) as well as into the ankle joint right where her cartilage was in trouble. I post these pictures this morning as when our doctor proudly showed me his exacting needle placement, I thought to myself, “Nobody else in the world does this kind of exacting work through needles with stem cells”. Most clinics now offering stem cells would inject them blindly somewhere in the vicinity of the ankle joint or if they have more diligence use an ultrasound to get them into the joint. However, in this case, since ultrasound is incapable of seeing inside the joint at this depth or inside bone, there would be no way to accurately place cells in the joint or place cells into her bone lesion.

Just more evidence that the Regenexx difference is  quite real and is about creating a new medical specialty, Interventional Orthopedics. This means replacing more invasive surgeries with innovative and less invasive and exacting injection procedures.

Learn about Regenexx procedures for foot & ankle conditions.
Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

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NOTE: This blog post provides general information to help the reader better understand regenerative medicine, musculoskeletal health, and related subjects. All content provided in this blog, website, or any linked materials, including text, graphics, images, patient profiles, outcomes, and information, are not intended and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always consult with a professional and certified healthcare provider to discuss if a treatment is right for you.

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