Amniotic tissue shows great potential in expediting the recovery from injuries to the plantar fascia and soft tissue in the foot and ankle, and in helping diabetic wounds to heal. The newest of all therapy options is the use of amniotic membranes to decrease scar formation. Amniotic membrane allograft possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which does differentiate it from all of the aforementioned treatments.
Nevertheless, this innovative therapy has a profound impact on decreasing scar formation and promoting growth factors to healing tissue. The Use of Injectable Amniotic Membrane in the Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis and Other Soft Tissue Injuries of the Foot has shown significant promise in the apparent restoration and healing of injured tissue.
These clinical findings are very exciting. One patient had a complete rupture of the fascia and was treated with immobilization, orthotics, and physical therapy for almost eight months with little improvement. The patient still had significant edema and was offered surgery or an amniotic membrane injection to see if that would resolve her pain. The patient had an injection and in six weeks and had significant relief of pain. The patient tore the fascia on their other side during her recovery. The patient then had an injection on that side as well, and three months after that they returned to her running activities and continues to do well. In another case, the patient had a plantar fascia tear for which they received an amniotic membrane injection. In two months, they were nearly pain-free and had returned to her normal activity, which required her to be on her feet for much of the day.
At Buckeye Foot Care we offer patients amniotic membrane injections as an alternative to steroid injections. Patients are offered both. We had a number of individuals who seem to be making good progress, so we did a quality assurance review to look back at those people. We determined that all had at least 70 percent improvement with the injection of the amniotic membrane graft.
Recently, there was a big discovery that amniotic tissue is very successful in supplying growth factors that finesse the cells that are not functioning or working in chronic wound care. The application of this tissue has shown huge progress in how quickly they are healing compared with applying nothing at all or even applying other products. We have done head-to- head comparisons with what is already on the market with amniotic tissue, and these wounds are showing that they close a lot more quickly with amniotic tissue.
The wound is checked at weekly visits. Medicare and insurance companies reimburse the treatment. Most wounds of smaller size usually close with one application. If it is a larger wound, you may need multiple applications he said. It is approved for diabetic ulcers, and manufacturers are seeking approval for all types of wounds.