A New Fix for Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendinitis
By Buffalo Medical Group | November 15 2017 | Doctor Tips
Podiatry problems can not only be debilitating, but frustrating at times. Many patients have tried everything from acupuncture to corticosteroid injections, only to find temporary or no relief from their pain.
With plantar fasciitis affecting more than one million people a year, and Achilles tendinitis plaguing many runners and athletes, Buffalo Medical Group is excited to offer a new treatment option called AmnioFix® to help patients hit the ground running again. Here are some common questions about the AmnioFix® injection:
What is AmnioFix®?
AmnioFix® is a human-derived “composite amniotic tissue membrane” that’s created from healthy consenting mothers who have undergone scheduled cesarean sections. The donated tissue has been cleaned, dehydrated and sterilized. It’s then blended with sterile saline to create an injectable solution that has remarkable healing capabilities.
When injected, the growth factors will help your own cells regenerate the damaged tissue, reduce scar tissue formation and control inflammation. It essentially works like an espresso shot for the cells, making them work harder to repair tissue damage.
Is it Safe?
To date, more than 100,000 patients nationwide have been injected with AmnioFix®. There have been no reports of medical complications or serious side effects. Patients may experience some mild discomfort around the injection site for up to three days, but this is easily managed with ice and elevation to reduce any swelling that arises.
How Affordable is it?
The injection is not covered by insurance. Patients simply pay directly for the AmnioFix® material itself. The material costs $350, which is more affordable than surgery, and offers the added benefits over surgery of a minimal risk of infection, no risk of delayed wound healing and no downtime. Patients may be able to use HSA and Flex spending accounts to pay for treatment
How is AmnioFix® Different from Other Treatments?
An AmnioFix® injection is different from corticosteroid injections and platelet-rich plasma injections because it helps your damaged tissue regenerate. Corticosteroid injections are given after other conservative treatments fail, and they simply mask the pain. Patients often reach the limit of steroid injections and their pain remains unresolved. Platelet-rich plasma injections are more natural but do not have the growth factors for regenerating tissue.
Is There Research About its Effectiveness?
A study published in the journal Foot & Ankle International found that a single injection of AmnioFix® yielded “significant improvement” in plantar fasciitis symptoms and “increased function” within one week of therapy. Over the course of the eight-week trial, the patients continued to exhibit improvements in terms of pain levels and function.
Conservative plantar fasciitis treatments have shown success rates ranging from 46-100% success. A single-dose injection of AmnioFix®, however, yielded a result of “100% of patients having pain reduction by week 2, and maintained effect over 4 months,” according to a literature review that was performed by Dr. Myron H. Hansen and Dr. J. Joseph Anderson of the American Foundation of Lower Extremity Surgery and Research.
Similar findings have been presented in the Journal of Sports Medicine regarding the usage of amniotic tissue for the treatment of plantar fasciitis. Additional clinical trials are now underway to satisfy the FDA’s rigorous standards for a Biologics License Application (BLA). Since AmnioFix® is a human-derived product, it does not require a BLA to be used. FDA approval would, however, significantly increase the product’s eligibility for Medicare and insurance coverage in the future.
To schedule a consultation and learn more about AmnioFix®, call our podiatry team at 716.630.1295.