Foot News

Skin Stem Cells and Achilles Tendinitis
April 21, 2012

Scientific News in Foot Pain (Part 8):
Skin Derived Fibroblasts for the Treatment of Refractory Achilles Tendinosis:
Preliminary Short-Term Results
Achilles tendinitis is a common and sometimes debilitating form of foot and ankle pain. It can be very resistant to treatment. Initially, physical therapy including stretching, eccentric exercises, and modalities can be helpful. Surgical debridement is sometimes necessary. Many forms of biological treatments including PRP, injection of blood, and growth factors have been tried. Their use is still experimental and the effectiveness is unknown.
Dr. Obaid and his associates (Obaid H et al.  Skin-derived fibroblasts for the treatment of refractory achillestendinosis: preliminary short-term results. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2012 Feb 1;94(3):193-200.) have recently reported on a new type of treatment. They studied 32 patients in a randomized, double blinded fashion. In the treatment group, cultured, autologous fibroblasts were injected into the damage portion of the Achilles tendon. The patients were followed for six months. Moderate but significant improvements were noted in their pain when compared to the patients who received the sham treatment. Much of the improvement was not realized until late in the study, at the six month point.
This study reports high-quality results in a small group of patients over a short follow-up period. Before this form of treatment is considered a standard, more study must be done to corroborate it. However, it shows great promise.
–Brett Fink, MD.  Co-author of The Whole Foot Book:  A Comprehensive Guide to Taking Care of your Feet
Posted in Achilles Tendinitis, Medical Tips and Pearls, New Treatments
Tags: Achilles tendinitis, stem cells