Monday, September 7, 2009
Medical Reports: Heel Healing
Heel pain is a common foot problem and can make every step you take unbearable. Now, doctors are using a breakthrough treatment to cure it using your own blood. Seven's Richard Lemus shows us this Heel Healing.
WSVN -- Several times a week you'll find Johnny Rodriguez pacing the sidelines of the baseball field.
Johnny Rodriguez: "I'm on my feet a lot. I coach little league baseball. Very active person. By the time you're releasing it here, that's how the ball is getting it's spin."
But recently heel pain has slowed him down.
Johnny Rodriguez: "See the pain is right here and when you step like that and come off of it, that's when you feel the pain."
Doctors diagnosed him with a very common foot problem called Plantar Fasciitis. It's a condition where the tissue inside the bottom of the feet becomes inflamed. It often strikes people who are on their feet a lot.
Dr. Abraham Wagner: "Steroid injections has been one of the first and foremost type of treatments when it comes to this type of condition. Unfortunately, it deteriorates the bone quality."
Now doctors are performing a breakthrough procedure for foot pain where they use a patient's own blood to treat the inflammation, it's called Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP .
Dr. Abraham Wagner: "We're taking it out of one location of the body and re-injecting it into another one."
Doctors draw blood from your arm and then spin it around in this machine to harvest the platelets. Platelets have high counts of growth factors, which are thought to speed up healing.
Dr. Abraham Wagner: "We can see the separation of the plasma from the whole blood. This plasma on top is filled with stem cells and growth factor."
The plasma is then injected into the swollen area of the heel where it starts to repair the damaged tissue.
Dr. Abraham Wagner: "What we're essentially doing is putting the plasma as an anti-inflammatory component just to reduce the swelling."
The procedure takes about 30 minutes and the patient is able to walk out of the office.
Johnny Rodriguez: "It wasn't painful at all. It was easy."
One week later, Johnny's heel pain is gone and he's back on the ball field.
Johnny Rodriguez: "Feeling really good walking on my feet before I was limping on this field. Now I'm ready to run to out with the kids again."
Richard Lemus: "Some insurances will now pay for the PRP procedure."