Treating diabetic foot wounds remains a clinical challenge in podiatric care. Due to a diabetic’s compromised immunity, these wounds are often slow to heal and can lead to further, sometimes devastating problems, such as partial or total amputation of the foot.
While these wounds can be helped through debridement and skin grafts, it’s not always enough. In our efforts to remain on the cusp of cutting-edge wound care, we have turned to stem cell therapy as a promising option to include in our fight against diabetic foot ulcers.
Clinical studies have shown that stem cell therapy can provide a comprehensive solution in diabetic wound care by addressing multiple variables during the healing process, including cell proliferation, extracellular matrix (ECM) synthesis, growth factor release, and vascularization.
But, first, what exactly is stem cell therapy?
Stem Cell Therapy Explained
In general terms, stem cell therapy uses stem cells to create living and functional tissues to regenerate and repair tissue and organs in the body that are damaged.
More specifically, stem cells don’t yet have instructions on what type of cell to become. It doesn’t know what it wants to be when it grows up, but when placed in the surroundings of other cells, it becomes what surrounds it! Incredible, right? So when they are placed in wound tissue, it becomes skin type tissue!
Stem cells have the amazing power to go to these damaged areas and regenerate new cells and tissues by performing a restoration/renewal process and become what they need to become for that damaged area.
At West Coast Podiatry, we use several revolutionary treatments utilizing stem cells. They are…
- Grafix®: This is a cryopreserved (flash frozen!) human placental tissue used to treat chronic wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers, venous foot ulcers, and pressure ulcers, as well as acute wounds such as surgical incisions, burns, and trauma.
- EpiFix®: is a dehydrated (not flash frozen!), non-viable cellular amniotic membrane allograft that helps regenerate soft tissue.
- AmnioFix®: is a composite amniotic tissue membrane used for acute and chronic wound care. It helps reduce scar tissue formation, regulates inflammation in the surgical site, improves healing, and acts as a barrier.
- Affinity®: is a fresh amniotic allograft that provides new growth and bioactive healing.
These treatments are changing the way we treat diabetic feet and the results have been tremendous! Each of these companies is committed to ethical practices in their operation and maintain the highest standards of management and are in compliance with both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB), which should allay any concerns when it comes to using stem cell treatments.
Additionally, Medicare reimburses for many of these stem cell therapies which makes this advanced wound care a viable option for many patients.
If you or a loved one are looking for a podiatrist in the Sarasota-Bradenton area or are interested in learning more about diabetic foot care treatment, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Lasday, Dr. Zdancewicz, Dr. Goecker, or Dr. Sotelo for a thorough and professional evaluation, either in our Bradenton Podiatry office at (941) 753-9599 or our Sarasota Podiatry office at (941) 366-2627.
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