Stem Cell Therapy For Arthritis and Tendon or Ligament Damage

Updated 3/7/2024
On "The Doctor's" TV show we perform a Stem Cell Therapy treatment before a live studio audience.

Stem cell therapy is one of several amazing medical technologies that use your body’s natural healing power to treat pain and damage. This state-of-the-art regenerative treatment offers a great non-surgical option for patients suffering from painful foot and ankle conditions.


At University Foot & Ankle Institute our podiatry experts use stem cell injections to provide pain relief and improve tissue regeneration for patients dealing with arthritis or soft tissue problems such as tendon or ligament damage. 

How does stem cell therapy work?

Steven Cell Therapy at University Foot and Ankle Institute

Stem cell treatments are virtually pain-free. Our doctors start by taking a blood sample — just like a regular medical blood test. They then process the blood in a centrifuge to separate the stem cells, growth factors, platelets, plasma, and red and white blood cells. The doctor will discard the “unhelpful” parts of your blood, creating a powerful injection of healing cells.


These healing cells are then injected into the damaged area of the foot or ankle where they trigger and amplify your body’s natural healing processes. Stem cells have been found to replicate themselves and trigger nearby cells to start replicating as well. This helps your body regrow damaged tissue and also produces an anti-inflammatory effect that can help reduce pain. 


Additionally, our stem cell injections contain hyaluronic acid (HA); your body naturally creates hyaluronic acid which is found in joints and connective tissues. Delivering more HA to your injured foot improves cushioning and lubrication of the joints and tendons, reducing pain and improving mobility.


Because the stem cell injection comes from your own body, it is generally well tolerated and (aside from a few pokes with a needle) pain-free. We can also apply local anesthetic for improved patient comfort.


The most common side effects are some minor discomfort at the injection site.


Stem cell therapy for arthritis 

Stem cell therapy can be effective in improving the condition of big toe and ankle arthritis


Arthritis, marked by joint discomfort, swelling, and stiffness, arises from the degradation of cartilage that buffers the ends of bones. Traditional management strategies have concentrated on alleviating pain and decelerating the disease's progression. Stem cell therapy proposes an innovative method of directly addressing cartilage damage, the fundamental cause of arthritis


Injecting stem cells directly into the affected joints may encourage the differentiation of these cells into cartilage cells, promoting the regeneration of damaged tissue. This not only has the potential to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation, but it also may improve joint mobility and slow the progression of arthritis.


Using stem cell therapy for tendon and ligament conditions: Achilles tendon and plantar fascia 

Often, an overuse injury or sudden trauma to the tendons and ligaments in your foot can lead to significant pain, weakness, and reduced function. Traditional treatments have included rest, physical therapy, and, in severe cases, surgery. 


However, stem cell therapy introduces a regenerative approach by promoting the healing of these tissues at the cellular level. When stem cells are injected into the site of a tendon or ligament injury, they can encourage the repair of damaged fibers and restore the strength and flexibility of these tissues. 


Our expert healthcare providers frequently utilize stem cell therapy for patients experiencing sprains, tendonitis, or heel pain that has not responded to more conservative treatment methods.


How stem cell therapy enhances surgical recovery

Incorporating stem cell therapy into surgical procedures presents a groundbreaking method to enhance healing and recovery. During surgery, stem cells can be applied to the site of injury or repair, where they can expedite the healing process by reducing inflammation, promoting tissue regeneration, and minimizing scar formation. 


This application is especially beneficial in complex surgeries where recovery times are typically longer and the risk of complications is higher. By improving the body's natural healing capabilities, stem cell therapy can lead to faster recovery times, reduced post-operative pain, and better overall outcomes for patients.


Is traditional stem cell therapy right for you? 

At University Foot & Ankle Institute we firmly believe most conditions should initially be treated non-surgically and with minimally invasive techniques. These “conservative treatments” deliver excellent results over 80% of the time. As a bonus, a conservative care approach is often considered the most cost-effective for the patient.


Occasionally, when conservative treatments do not work as well as expected, other advanced non-invasive treatments become necessary. Regenerative treatment options such as stem cell therapy or platelet-rich plasma injections (PRP) are exceptional options offered by the University Foot & Ankle Institute.


Our physicians have decades of combined experience using regenerative medicine and are internationally recognized experts using it to treat ankle and foot pain.


For a consultation, please call (877) 736-6001 or make an appointment online now.


University Foot and Ankle Institute is conveniently located throughout Southern California and the Los Angeles area. Our foot and ankle surgeons are available at locations in or near Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, the San Fernando Valley, El Segundo, the South Bay, LAX, Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, Valencia, Santa Clarita, and Santa Barbara.




Frequently Asked Questions about Stem Cell Therapy


How long should you rest after stem cell injection for plantar fasciitis? 

Usually we use a boot to rest the area and allow healing for two weeks. After the rest period, a slow return to activity can resume over the next two weeks. We may also recommend custom orthotics to support the foot and prevent future injury.


How many injections are needed for Achilles tendonosis?

Stem cell therapy usually requires two injections, but the exact treatment plan will depend on your injury and medical history.


Do cortisone Injections work for plantar fasciitis?

A steroid injection is one of the most common treatments for pain relief. However, while corticosteroids may provide temporary pain relief, they can potentially weaken the plantar fascia or Achilles tendon over time, increasing the risk of rupture and future damage. 










Ng A, Cavaliere R, Molchan L. Biologics in the Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis. Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 2021 Apr;38(2):245-259. doi: 10.1016/j.cpm.2020.12.009. Epub 2021 Feb 13. PMID: 33745655.


Sassoon, A. A. et al. Skeletal muscle and bone marrow-derived stromal cells: a comparison of tenocyte differentiation capabilities. J. Orthop. Res. 30, 1710–1718 (2012).

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