After Ankle Fracture AVN May Develop
A patient who sustained a severe fracture of her ankle, was later diagnosed with avascular necrosis (AVN) of her distal tibia. Dennis M. Lox, MD, an expert in the use of stem cell therapy in patients with avascular necrosis (AVN) was consulted. The distal or bottom portion of the tibia makes contact with the talus bone to form the ankle mortise. After a traumatic fracture the blood supply to a region of bone either the tibia, talus or both becomes compromised resulting in bone cell death. This is termed necrosis. The loss of blood supply is termed ischemic or avascular resulting in the name avascular necrosis (AVN). After suffering severe trauma with ankle fracture, surgical fixation may be necessary. This results in more trauma to the ankle region and further compounds the possibility of disruption of blood flow leading to avascular necrosis.
The more severe the injury, the more likely the possibility of avascular necrosis (AVN). Stem cells have become an increasingly more common treatment option as the prognosis for ankle joint degeneration after collapse of areas of necrosis lead to significant debility. Unlike the more common knee and hip joint replacement procedures, ankle joint replacement is difficult and often has poor results, this leads to recommendations for ankle fusion. Ankle fusion is cumbersome and the improper body mechanics may lead to earlier degeneration of adjacent joints. These factors make consideration for ankle joint stem cell injections a useful treatment option. If repair may occur without the deleterious complications of ankle surgery this becomes a desirable option. Stem cell injections are relatively simple compared to those surgeries and do not preclude the possibility of future surgery. Thus all treatment options remain open for the future. If the stem cell therapy delays or halts the secondary degeneration associated with AVN, then a more functional lifestyle can be maintained, and surgery may be deferred.
These goals highlight the rational for why so much excitement is generated in using stem cells to assist in the treatment of avascular necrosis (AVN). Though not all cases of AVN may be amenable to treatment with stem cell therapy, the promise of utility in some cases is extremely rewarding.
If you’re in pain or had an injury and are looking for an alternative to surgery, contact us immediately at one of our locations. Our Main Medical Center located in Tampa Bay, Florida (727) 462-5582 or at Beverly Hills, California (310) 975-7033.
About Dennis M. Lox, M.D.
Whether you are a professional athlete, weekend warrior, or have arthritis from aging, Dr. Lox can help.
Dennis M. Lox, M.D. is an internationally renown Sports and Regenerative Medicine specialist. Dr. Lox incorporates Regenerative Medicine techniques such as cell science applications, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), and Tissue Engineering aspects, to help patients from around the world with a vast array of problems. Dr. Lox is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Lox lectures extensively and has edited two PM&R textbooks, the prestigious A State of the Art Review (Star) on Low Back Pain, and Soft Tissue Injuries: Diagnosis and Treatment.
Dennis M. Lox, M.D. maintains an active practice in the Tampa Bay, Florida area, and in Beverly Hills, California.