Can an ankle stem cell treatment help a college athlete with ankle problems? KW is 21 y/o university field and track athlete who was unable to compete due to ankle pain. She had a longstanding history of ankle sprains and had undergone high dose aspirin therapy as child due to a diagnosis of juvenile arthritis. When she was first evaluated by our clinic, her pain was a constant 5/10 in severity and located deep in the joint. Running and bending of the ankle all caused pain-which is a big problem if you’re a college track athlete. She had tried NSAID drugs (with their dangerous side effects), oral steroids (also with big side effects), and steroid and Synvisc shots into the joint (regrettably these joint injections were performed blind without any imaging guidance, so we don’t know if they actually got into the joint). Since she was getting nowhere with traditional non-surgical ankle treatment, she decided to try using her own stem cells. When we reviewed her ankle MRI, it showed degenerative changes in the main ankle joint, swelling, and sprains of two of the three main outside ankle ligaments. Our first priority was to stabilize her unstable ankle (for more info on this treatment approach, see our e-book-Orthopedics 2.0). As a result she underwent specialized injections to stabilize and strengthen the loose ankle ligaments (Regenexx-SCP into these ligaments). This was followed by a Regenexx SD stem cell injection to treat cartilage loss.
6 months after starting stem cell therapy for the ankle, Dr. Schultz received this e-mail which she has allowed us to share.
“Besides that minor flare, I have had really promising results. I understand that my body has set limitations, and I may never be permitted to run 60 miles or more a week like before, but I am just grateful that I am back on the track completing workouts with my team. I run every other day (which are “work-out” days consisting of heavy pounding on a hard track surface) and cross train on days in between. I have also began doing olympic (short reps, but heavy and explosive) weight training without any irritation. I started doing ladder speed drills and hurdles drills this week, and have noticed no pain.”
We are encouraged by KW’s results and hope to continue to help her get back to the sport she loves!