Podiatrist, Dr. Windy Cole has been using a new product to aid in treatment of degenerative arthritis in the feet.
The first metatarsal phalangeal joint, or a person’s big toe, is the joint typically under the most stress within the foot. The big toe is what bends with every step taken, gets the most wear and tear and is most likely to develop degenerative arthritis.
With degenerative arthritis, the cartilage in the foot becomes thinner. There can be areas of deficit where cartilage can completely erode. Previously, physicians had two options to treat degenerative arthritis, either by using a metal implant or fusing the joints together.
“With implants, you are taking bone out and putting metal in to recreate the joint. The loss of bone coupled with the possibility of implant-failure may eventually lead to the need for additional surgery,” stated Dr. Cole. “The other option we have of fusing the joints relieves the patient’s pain, however, it also prevents them from bending that joint ever again.”
To provide her patients with more options, Dr. Cole began using BioCartilage® by Arthrex in 2013. BioCartilage is a material comprised of the key components found in native articular cartilage. This articular cartilage goes through a gentle dehydration process and is micronized into small particles. The BioCartilage particles can be mixed with saline, blood or platelet rich plasma, known as PRP. Once mixed, the two components create a paste-like consistency that is applied over the patient’s cartilage defect.
“With the advent of BioCartilage, it is actually a replacement for our natural God-given cartilage,” stated Dr. Cole. “The BioCartilage is implanted into the joint. It stimulates the body to build back its own cartilage. We are doing a cartilage replacement rather than putting metal into the body or fusing the joints together.”
Once implanted, BioCartilage functions as a tissue framework that your body’s cells can attach to and produce new reparative cartilage tissue in the defect site.
During procedures where Dr. Cole uses BioCartilage, she cleans the defect area, clearing out damaged tissue and uses BioCartilage in conjunction with microfracture as a way of providing attachment sites for the bone marrow cells. These cells penetrate through the access channels to aid in the healing process.
“With the advent of BioCartilage, my patients have another option in treatment that allows them to resume their normal activities of daily living without pain,” stated Dr. Cole. “It’s giving me another option to provide to my patients to improve their way of life.”
Dr. Cole finds that BioCartilage is most helpful in active patients who have early signs of degenerative arthritic changes to the joint.
Currently, Dr. Cole is the only podiatrist using BioCartilage in her procedures in the entire Portage County area.
“My patients, who have had this procedure, have been able to return to regular shoes within four weeks after surgery,” stated Dr. Cole. “They have experienced a resolution of their pain and have also increased their activity level beyond their pre-operative capacity.”
Dr. Cole is on the medical staff at Robinson Memorial Hospital and has offices in Streetsboro and Kent. If you would like more information about BioCartilage, or to see if you may be a candidate for this new treatment, contact Dr. Cole’s office.
Windy E. Cole, DPM
Robinson Health Center at Streetsboro
9318 State Route 14
Streetsboro, Ohio 44241
1533 South Water Street
Kent, Ohio 44240