Stem cells are being used more and more by physicians for treatment of a variety of injuries and disease
Dr. Christopher Calcagni is one of the few podiatrists in Southwest Florida to use stem cells when treating any number of issues affecting the foot and ankle.
Founder of Coastal Foot & Ankle Center, Dr. Calcagni treats all aspects but specializes in minimally invasive foot and ankle surgery. A former football player at Oklahoma State University, he is also passionate about sports medicine and treating sports injuries, helping patients get back to their game as quickly as possible.
Stem cells have a variety of applications
At Coastal Foot and Ankle Center, stem cell therapy is most often used to speed recovery from injuries and reduce inflammation and pain from chronic problems such as arthritis of the foot and ankle, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis and more. The stem cells Dr. Calcagni uses are embryonic and they have the potential to develop into many different types of cells within the body to speed the repair process.
“If a patient has a small tear in a tendon, I can inject it with stem cells allowing the tendon to repair itself quicker.” Although Dr. Calcagni looks at surgery as a last resort, he says, “The injections also speed recovery following an operation.”
Patient Brenda Cass had been suffering from foot pain for years. “I’m a little flat footed and one foot kind of turns in when I walk. It would sometimes burn when I put my foot down and it was really getting painful.” Cass wears orthotics, tried steroid injections and stretching, but the pain did not improve.
“It was affecting my lifestyle. I do a lot of walking.” She had heard about the use of stem cells and remembers, “I was a little apprehensive about it but the tendon really hurt and no matter what I did, I just couldn’t work it out.” About the injection, “He sprayed the area to numb it and it was over, just like that.”
Over the next week the pain in her foot gradually subsided and now she says, “I’m walking easily on it and it feels really good. I’m very glad I had it done.”
Performing stem cell injections for nearly five years, Dr. Calcagni has even used the procedure to treat his parents. “If possible, I don’t want my parents, or patients, to undergo surgery so I do everything I can to avoid it.” Steroid shots may help with some injuries and conditions in the short term, where stem cell injections actually help to repair the problem.
Most insurance does not cover stem cell injections. However, Dr. Calcagni explains, “If a patient wants to get better quicker, heal faster, and decrease trips to doctor, this is the best option. Operations put you out of commission, wearing a boot limits you, and time is money.”
Dr. Calcagni has been practicing medicine in Southwest Florida since 2009
His parents began vacationing in the area in the early 90’s. He laughs, “I always wanted to move here, but they thought no one lived here year around. In medical school, I remember being told to move where you want to live, then figure the rest out.” That’s exactly what he did. It doesn’t hurt that his mother’s maiden name is Naples.
Of Italian descent, Dr. Calcagni’s surname means “heel” when translated. Not to mention the fact that there are nine doctors on his mother’s side of the family, it’s almost as if he was destined to be a physician specializing in the foot and ankle in Southwest Florida.
Most of his family members practice internal and family medicine, the path he originally thought he’d travel. “But during my last semester at Oklahoma State one of my uncles asked if I was sure about that because medicine was changing.” With that in mind he began looking at other platforms and during a break spent time with one of his uncle’s colleagues who was a podiatrist. Things clicked.
Even though he specializes in treating the foot and ankle, Dr. Calcagni is a physician that takes into account the overall health and well being of his patients. He advises them on developing a healthful lifestyle including areas such as nutrition.
“Dr. Calcagni is very nice. He listens and takes his time. He talks to you which is important to me,” says Cass.
“I practice old school medicine,” says Dr. Calcagni. “I’m different in that I want to spend time with people. I sit and talk to them and I think that sets me apart.”
If you are suffering from foot and ankle pain and think stem cell therapy might benefit you, call Dr. Calcagni for an appointment.
Foot & Ankle Surgery • Diabetic Foot Care • Wound Care • Sports Injuries • Laser Therapy • Stem Cell Therapy • Pediatric Care
1205 Piper Blvd #102, Naples
*Every patient is different, and individual results will vary.