Best Los Angeles Ankle Surgeons Treat Ankle Arthritis with Stem Cell Therapy

Best Los Angeles Ankle Surgeons use Stem Cell Treatment for Ankle Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease and affects more than 20 million people in the United States alone. Osteoarthritis is characterized by progressive cartilage degeneration with functional loss of motion at a joint. Although osteoarthritis can affect any joint, it most often will affect the weightbearing joints such as the knee, hip, foot, ankle, and spine. There are many contributing factors that may cause osteoarthritis, but it is most commonly caused by abnormal mechanics or loads on a joint, a mal-alignment of a joint, a previous infection in the joint, or a previous trauma to a joint.

Traditionally, osteoarthritis is treated with physical therapy, steroid injections into the joint, oral use of anti-inflammatory medication, lubrication injections, and life-style changes. For the ankle, the use of a brace may help stabilize the joint and prevent painful motion at the ankle. There are some surgical options that may help alleviate ankle pain from ankle arthritis, including ankle arthroscopy, joint distraction, cartilage replacement surgery, and spur removal. Should those preliminary procedures fail to give relief and the arthritis progresses, the end-stage treatment for osteoarthritis of the ankle is either ankle fusion or ankle replacement.

Stem Cell Treatment for Ankle Arthritis

Although ankle fusion or ankle joint replacement surgery for ankle arthritis is generally very successful, it does come with risk factors and a long recovery period. Recently, there have been advances in the use of stem cells to treat osteoarthritis in the area of cartilage repair as a minimally invasive procedure without the need for a major open reconstructive ankle surgery. In addition, there is a very minimal chance of rejection as the cells are harvested from the patient’s own body; usually from bone marrow or fat. Stem cells have the potential to develop into different cell types, including cartilage cells. In addition, they have properties which enhance the body’s repair mechanisms such as reducing inflammation, increasing healing potential, and reducing scarring.

The benefits of using stem cells to repair cartilage in arthritic joints are many and there seem to be minimal complications with their use. Additional research is needed in the area of stem cells for use in arthritic joints in humans, but preliminary studies in humans and rat models show promising results, and we may be approaching a cure for arthritis.

Dr. Bob Baravarian

Dr. Bob Baravarian

Dr. Bob Baravarian is a Board Certified Podiatric Foot and Ankle Specialist. He is currently a member of UCLA Medical Group, Chief of Podiatric Surgery at Santa Monica/UCLA medical center and Orthopedic Hospital and an assistant clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine. He also serves as co-director of University Foot and Ankle Institute. He is Editor Emeritus of the international medical journal, Foot and Ankle Specialist.

Dr. Baravarian been involved in athletics his entire life and played competitive tennis in high school and college. He has an interest in sports medicine, arthritis therapy and trauma/reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle. He servers as a consultant to the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) tour, multiple running organizations and several shoe manufacturers. He is also fluent in five languages (English, French, Spanish, Farsi and Hebrew),

Podiatrist Dr. Bob Baravarian is available for consultation at the Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks and UCLA Westwood offices.
Dr. Bob Baravarian

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  • Yelp
    Dr. Franson, the nurses and front desk made everything so easy. Wonderful doctor and support staff. They returned phone calls quickly and we never felt rushed during appointments. The surgery was explained thoroughly...
    Deidre M.
  • Yelp
    My first appointment, Dr. Barvarian personally came out to the waiting room, introduced himself, and walked me back to examine my foot; but only after taking a detailed history of what I do for a living, when my injur...
    Haley S.
  • Yelp
    I had a ganglion cyst on my foot, and Dr. Briskin did an ultrasound and drained it. I didn't have insurance for this procedure, so it was a few hundred bucks. Dr. Briskin was a total pro, and the whole thing essentia...
    Walter M.
  • CustomerSure
    Doctor Franson and the whole staff have been awesome every step of the way! I recommend them to all my family, friends and co-workers every chance I get! Thanks Dr. Franson and UFAI staff!!!!
    Robert B.
  • CustomerSure
    The staff was fantastic and it they really took care of me. Some of the best service from medical professionals that I have ever seen!
    Ryan P,.
  • Yelp
    Quick, painless, fantastic service.
    Mike G.
  • Yelp
    I found Dr. Franson for a second opinion, after seeing an orthopedic specialist who misdiagnosed me and was about to cut my foot and ankle open. Dr. Franson put me at ease and ordered the appropriate MRI, which the ot...
    C.M.
  • CustomerSure
    I'm thankful that you have Saturday office hours. Making appointments is easy. OVERALL VERY VERY SATISFIED.
    Michael S.
  • Yelp
    I have been truly amazed with Dr Baravarian. I had a loose piece of bone at the base of my fifth metatarsal. Got an X-ray and an MRI right there in the building before having it surgically removed yesterday. Surgery w...
    James D.
  • CustomerSure
    I've had two Lapidus Bunionectomy surgeries (one for each foot) by Dr Baravarian and I'm thrilled with the results. My bunions were extreme and required extreme expert measures to correct them. Dr. Baravarian is one o...
    Ryan
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