Stem Cells For Your Feet

Stem cell therapy provides long-sought relief from chronic foot, ankle pain.

The first step Josephine Calvi remembers taking was a painful one. So was the second, the third and most every one that followed thereafter for more than 40 years. Having contracted juvenile rheumatoid arthritis as an infant, Josephine’s walk through life has largely been an exercise in perseverance.

Josephine and Pamela both went to Advanced Rejuvenation for help with ankle and foot pain.

Josephine says she is now living a cautiously active lifestyle.

“Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, so the body more or less attacks itself and degenerates the joints,” Josephine, now 47, explains. “In my case, the arthritis attacked both my ankles and knees, and it really limited me in terms of what I could do physically and socially as a child.

“My brother, for example, had to carry me sometimes when we were on family vacations or whatever, and even though we only lived three blocks from school, I always had to be driven to school. There were also times at school when I was really young when I wasn’t allowed to go out for recess.

“When I got older, I wasn’t allowed to get involved in any of the sports or outdoor activities that other kids were doing, except for swimming. I was allowed to swim, so I pretty much became a rock star swimmer. For the most part, though, I was always very isolated as a kid and was left out of a lot of the normal social scenarios.”

Josephine, who grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, spent almost as much time visiting doctors as she did playing with or hanging out with friends during her youth. The monthly visits for blood work and arthritis treatments didn’t necessarily make her life any better, though. In fact, they may have made it worse.

Beginning as an infant and on into adulthood, Josephine was treated with
pharmaceutical-grade medications designed to suppress her immune system and control the arthritis. The only problem was, those medications often sparked side effects that caused Josephine more anguish than the arthritis.

“I came to call it the rinse and spin cycle of Western medicine,” Josephine reveals. “I’d go on the arthritis medication, but then I’d have liver failure or kidney failure, or a rash or an ulcer would crop up. So, I’d go off the arthritis medication so we could heal the liver or kidney problem, but then the arthritis would flare back up again.”

Josephine remained caught in that cycle until she was well into her 30s. By then, the degeneration of the cartilage in her left ankle had reached its lowest point, leaving her in an excruciatingly painful bone-on-bone situation. It was then that Josephine first began looking for alternatives to the common healing methods that had largely failed.

As part of a major lifestyle change in which she and her husband moved to Costa Rica and opened a natural healing retreat called Farm of Life, Josephine first tried using human growth hormone. That helped alleviate some of her pain, but not enough to end her search for the right remedy, which she eventually found more or less by chance.

“I had started getting platelet-rich plasma treatments where they take your blood and your own growth factors and growth hormones and re-apply them to the ankle,” Josephine explains. “I had also started getting ozone treatments where they inject these really high levels of oxygen into the ankle.

“I was looking into getting another ozone treatment, and because I was going to be visiting my parents in Sarasota, I began researching ozone treatments in Sarasota. This was about five years ago, and that’s when I found a place there that not only does platelet-rich plasma and ozone treatments but stem cell treatments as well.”

The place Josephine found was Advanced Rejuvenation, a state-of-the-art wellness clinic, where a highly trained team of physicians has been specializing in regenerative injection treatments for nearly two decades and is now considered to be at the forefront of nonsurgical regenerative therapy.

“Josephine came to us with significant arthritis in not just her ankle but her foot as well,” recalls Ronald S. Bramson, DPM, a podiatrist and physician assistant who specializes in treatment of the foot and ankle through stem cell therapy. “What was unique about her case, however, was that there was also a component of autoimmunity there.

“The use of stem cells has proved to be very effective in treating any type of autoimmune condition because stem cells have an ability to calm the autoimmune response. The same goes for any other type of autoimmune arthropathy for that matter.”

Building Block Basics

Stem cells are the most basic of the human body’s building blocks. They are the foundation of all the body’s tissues and organs and can be collected either from the patient or from placenta tissue.

Dr. Bramson has experience with both types of cells and understands which option is best for each condition.

“Stem cells harvested from the placenta tissue can be a good option, but people should be leery about doctors promoting these types of cells because most of the companies selling them are not legitimate,” Dr. Bramson informs. “We do use those types of stem cells here, but they have been highly vetted and sent for outside testing.

“Often we prefer the patient’s own stem cells, and we do perform those collection procedures here. Using a mini-liposuction, we are able to collect a small amount of fat from around the belly. Because one out of every one hundred cells in that fat is a stem cell, fat can have a very rich population of stem cells, and they can be used in a variety of ways.”

Josephine and Pamela both went to Advanced Rejuvenation for help with ankle and foot pain.

Josephine Calvi

When injected into damaged tissue, stem cells support the natural healing process by regenerating the damaged tissue and calming down chronic inflammation. That’s why more and more physicians are beginning to use them as an alternative to joint replacement surgery for failing knees, hips and ankles.

Stem cells can also be used to regenerate cartilage, tendon, muscle and new tissue in the shoulders, wrists, spine, pelvis and feet, etc. In addition to its versatility, one of the major advantages of stem cell therapy is that the simple injection treatments can be done in a doctor’s office, after which patients are able to return to normal activity within days.

Most patients receiving stem cell therapy notice a reduction in pain and an increase in comfort within a month of the treatment and continue to feel the effects well beyond that period. Josephine is among the many Adavanced Rejuvenation patients who have noticed a miraculous change.

Living Life Comfortably

When she first arrived at Advanced Rejuvenation, tests indicated that Josephine’s left ankle pain was the result of her having lost almost all the cartilage in that ankle. Since she began receiving stem cell treatments, however, she has generated nearly two millimeters of cartilage, leaving her with near normal levels for the ankle.

“She has actually laid down cartilage where there wasn’t any before,” confirms John Lieurance, DC, whose role during the treatment process is to perform ultrasound scans that allow for greater precision during the actual injection. “I’ve done pre- and post-treatment scans of her, and we’ve seen a tremendous improvement in the health of her joints.”

Likewise, Josephine has experienced a tremendous improvement in her quality of life. Since first receiving stem cell injections at Advanced Rejuvenation five years ago, she has returned twice for what she refers to as booster shots. The results, she says, have allowed her to enjoy life in a way she never thought possible.

“I was at a point where all the doctors were telling me the only thing I could do for my ankle was to have fusion surgery,” she says. “Stem cells weren’t anything I had available to me at the time, but they have been a fabulous solution for me. I’ve continued getting them, along with the ozone and platelet-rich plasma treatments, and they’ve really worked.

“Especially this past year, my ankle joint has been mostly pain free. Now, I’m not out there running marathons or anything like that, and I’m still not heavily active on the ankle, but I am cautiously active. Thanks to the great doctors at Advanced Rejuvenation, I’m leading a very comfortable life now.”

Location, Location, Location

Pamela Kirscher was living a comfortable life in Hawaii until one day in 1980, when she accidentally fell into what would eventually be the deep end of a pool that was under construction in her back yard. The broken left ankle and sprained right ankle she suffered that day were just the beginning of her long ordeal with pain in her ankles and feet.

Josephine and Pamela both went to Advanced Rejuvenation for help with ankle and foot pain.

“I highly recommend Advanced Rejuvenation
for anyone dealing with arthritis, or foot or ankle pain. The work they do there is incredible.” – Pamela

“The right ankle, in particular, became a problem for me because there were times after it had supposedly healed when out of nowhere it would just sort of give out on me,” the longtime fitness instructor relates. “At first, it just gave out, but after a while, it would give out and cause me to fall, and twice, I actually fell and broke that ankle.”

At the same time that her right ankle was causing her to fall, arthritis was developing rapidly in Pamela’s left ankle. So much so that on occasion, the sharp pain would force her to stop dead in her tracks. Then, in 2006, on the day she began taking English horse-riding lessons, Pamela broke her right foot when a horse inadvertently stepped on it.

In time, the combination of all her foot and ankle injuries soon took such a toll that at times a simple walk from her bed to the bathroom became painful. Not only that, but working became virtually impossible for Pamela, who had since moved to Sarasota and opened her own fitness studio.

The move and the location of that studio proved pivotal in her recovery because the studio happened to be in the same building as Advanced Rejuvenation. One day, after visiting a podiatrist who suggested she undergo surgery that would keep her off her feet for a couple of months, Pamela sought out the advice of the doctors at Advanced Rejuvenation.

After an ultrasound scan revealed she was suffering from arthritis in her right ankle and arthritis throughout both feet, Pamela was first treated through a process called prolotherapy in which natural substances such as dextrose, a natural sugar; and ozone are injected into the damaged area to stimulate healing.

Leaders in the Field

The prolotherapy treatments helped, Pamela reports, but it wasn’t until the doctors at Advanced Rejuvenation began treating her with stem cell injections that she found the pain relief and tissue rejuvenation she’d been looking for. Now, after receiving another injection in April, she’s back to living not only a comfortable life, but an active life as well.

“I remember my orthopedist telling me once that I might never be able to walk much again, which was devastating to hear,” Pamela recalls. “I mean, I’m a very active person and I could see where he was coming from, because I was in so much pain, but that’s why the stem cell treatments have been nothing short of amazing.

It wasn’t long after I received the first injection a few years ago that I went out, and I was able to walk on the beach for twenty minutes. That may not seem like much, but I was at a point where I couldn’t walk from my bedroom to my kitchen and stand there and make myself something to eat.

“I just recently moved to Idaho because I love to hike in the mountains, and thanks to the doctors at Advanced Rejuvenation and the stem cell therapy, I can do that now. I have that freedom again, which means I have the quality of life back that I was looking for. I was afraid I might never get that back. That’s why I highly recommend Advanced Rejuvenation for anyone dealing with arthritis, or foot or ankle pain. The work they do there is incredible.”

Josephine echoes those sentiments. She spent the first 40 years of her life searching for a solution to her chronic ankle pain, and she finally found it through the stem cell treatments she received at Advanced Rejuvenation, where she says the level of expertise is truly second to none.

“Dr. John is exceptional at reading the ultrasounds and providing a guide for the injections,” she states. “Believe me, I’ve been exposed to a lot of needles in my life, and I know what it’s like when a doctor misses the target. But I know when I go there that they’re hitting the mark right where the injection needs to go.

“But that doesn’t surprise me. I mean, they’ve been in this field since before it became a fad. They’re leaders in this field. And I see a lot of stem cell doctors popping up everywhere nowadays, but I would never go to them. I’m sticking with Advanced Rejuvenation. Their work, their knowledge and their expertise far surpass all others by years and years and years.”

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    • Advanced Rejuvenation

      Their integrative staff and physicians use a variety of modalities including Oxygen Therapies, Acupuncture, Prolotherapy, PRP, Chiropractic and other Eclectic medicine, and use these approaches to treat many injuries and conditions. Find whi... Read More