Cutting Edge Therapies Help Improve Patient Symptoms, Quality of Life
The Advanced Foot and Ankle Center in Danbury is well equipped for any podiatric problems thanks to the experience of Paul Betschart, DPM, and the variety of treatment options he offers.
Neurogenx for Neuropathy
For those suffering from neuropathy—damage or dysfunction of one or more nerves that typically results in numbness, tingling, muscle weakness and pain in the affected area, the Advanced Foot and Ankle Center recommends its revolutionary Neurogenx Electrical Signal Therapy.
Dr. Betchart explains this form of treatment delivers a sophisticated electronic signal to the body’s deep tissues via adhesive electrode patches. The waveform signals work on a cellular level, increasing cellular metabolism, normalizing pH, removing excess fluids and waste products that cause swelling, and encouraging healing.
“It’s a simple and painless 20-minute therapy, it’s not invasive and it helps the nerve to heal itself,” he said. “It’s a physical-therapy-type modality.”
The therapy is also extremely effective in reducing a person’s reliance on other treatments for nerve symptoms—such as medications.
Patients suffering from neuropathy issues caused by tumors, diabetes, bone marrow disorders, Lyme disease, trauma and other causes should ask Dr. Betchart if this treatment is appropriate for their concerns.
Dr. Betchart’s office has been utilizing this therapy for four years and considers it a breakthrough treatment for neuropathy. In fact, most who have undergone the Neurogenx therapy have seen success through improved sensation and better range of motion, balance and restful sleep, and the pain and numbness have faded or disappeared.
“It has a high patient success rate, with 4-out-of-5 showing improvement in their symptoms and functions of the nerve,” Dr. Betchart said. “It’s recommended for anyone with any kind of neuropathy. The only caution would be for people with pace makers, but everyone else can use it.”
The Remy Laser is an FDA-cleared laser therapy that can be used for the relief of chronic foot and ankle pain, speeding up healing and decreasing inflammation.
These are the most powerful lasers on the market and can treat a variety of conditions for the foot and ankle, including wound healing, nail fungus, warts and even skin surgery.
Dr. Betchart explains that the ultimate goal of laser therapy is to stimulate the cell to perform its natural functions, but at an enhanced rate. When the laser light source is placed against the skin, photons penetrate several layers down and are absorbed by the mitochondria (the energy producing part of a cell). This new energy results in the restoration of normal cell function.
“It gives us more ability to treat different things,” he said. “This will help patients get their pain and inflammation down as quickly as possible without injections or oral medications.”
The Remy Laser is a new addition to the Advanced Foot and Ankle Center, but early patient reviews have been nothing but positive.
What’s more, laser therapy is quick, easy and painless, allowing patients to relax during the procedure.
“We’ve been getting really good results with this and helping patients get back to action fast,” Dr. Betchart said. “It’s not invasive, and it only takes about 10-15 minutes per treatment, usually once a week for about 2-4 weeks.”
Lapiplasty 3D Bunion
The Advanced Foot and Ankle Center consistently monitors the latest and greatest treatments, so when the Lapiplasty 3D Bunion procedure started to make buzz in the industry, Dr. Betchart was one of the first in the area to use this breakthrough technology.
The Lapiplasty 3D Bunion procedure is designed to permanently fix the root cause of a patient’s bunion, restoring the natural anatomy. Clinical studies have shown that nearly 97 percent of all patients maintained their 3D Bunion Correction more than one year after undergoing treatment.
“We use specialized instrumentation and hardware that allows the surgeon to basically realign the bones of the big toe to their normal alignment in all three body planes, hence the 3D name,” Dr. Betchart said. “It’s a permanent correction, so it differs from the traditional bunion procedures which typically focus on removing the bump of bone or cutting the bone and moving it in a single plane.”
Unlike previous treatment options for bunions, there’s no longer a need to cut and shift the normal metatarsal bone as the entire bone is simply rotated and shifted back into position, eliminating the unsightly bump on the inside of the foot. Once back in proper position, the unstable foundation of the deformity is secured with patented, titanium technology, allowing the bones to heal permanently, helping a patient get back on their feet quickly with a lot of functionality.
“It eventually allows patients to return to wearing all the shoes they love with no activity restrictions,” Dr. Betchart said. “It also allows one to walk immediately post-operatively in a walking boot. That makes the recovery more convenient for the patient.”
The Lapiplasty procedure works best on patients with good bone quality and not much arthritis in their joints, and is recommended for anyone from a teenager to someone in their 70s.
HyProCure is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that corrects the misalignment between the heel and ankle bones that causes flat feet in both children and adults.
This is important as misaligned feet is a common condition, but often misdiagnosed because it causes a variety of seemingly unrelated symptoms including knee, hip and back pain.
The Advanced Foot and Ankle Center has found great success with this procedure.
HyProCure involves repositioning the ankle bone on the heel bone and inserting a small, titanium stent, which lasts forever.
“It’s a quick, in-office procedure using specialized instrumentation and fluoroscopic imaging through a very small incision below the ankle,” Dr. Betchart said. “We use a small, titanium implant placed between the bones of the rear foot, and it restores alignment of the rear-foot joints and guides motion, keeping it in the normal range.”
That allows the entire foot to function better and restores alignment to the entire body from the ground up.
It also eliminates the need for orthotics bracing and orthopedic shoes, so patients are highly in favor of the procedure.
“We liken this to Lasix—the eye procedure—for the feet,” Dr. Betchart said. “Instead of wearing glasses, you get your vision corrected. This is motion corrective surgery for the foot.”
The Advanced Foot and Ankle Center recently began offering products that contain cannabidiol (CBD*), a naturally occurring compound that has been shown to have numerous therapeutic benefits for the foot and ankle, and helps patients battle pain and inflammation.
“These are derived from the Hemp plant, which is the same plant that produces marijuana, but these have non-detectable levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical responsible for the “high” linked to marijuana), so you’re not going to fail a drug test if you’re taking these things,” Dr. Betchart said. “They contain thousands of natural compounds that help the body control pain and inflammation.”
The way it works, is a vast network of receptors throughout the human body known as the Endocannabinoid System2 reacts to CBD to regulate many physiological processes including pain modulation.
“It has been well researched and proven to be safe and effective,” Dr. Betchart said. “Usually we are using this for people with pain or inflammation who don’t want to or can’t take other types of medication. It helps with the other treatments that we are doing for them.”
The office is currently using a water-based brand and have both oral and topical formulations. The CBD products are available in creams, ointments and balms that can be applied directly to the painful joint or muscle and provide relief that way.
*Important note: CBD products are not legal in all 50 states and patients are advised to be mindful when traveling with these products.
As an added value to its patients, the Advanced Foot and Ankle Center has brought in a large selection of therapeutic shoes to its office, so it has enough product to provide accurate size and fitting for any patient in need of these shoes.
The office features the Propét line of therapeutic shoes, as well as shoes from brands such as New Balance, Dr. Comfort and others.
“We have plenty of choices available, and a wide-range of shoe types from athletic to fashion to work, and even snow boots and summer sandals,” Dr. Betchart said. “We can get all sizes and widths that fit every shaped foot. And they all have plenty of room for all manner of orthotics, insoles and braces.”
The office also participates in the Medicare Therapeutic Shoe Program for people with diabetes, which allows patients who have diabetic neuropathy and other qualifying conditions to get one pair of depth shoes and three pairs of moldable insoles per year.
“This helps with preventing ulcerations and amputations by cushioning the bony prominence and keeping the pressure off, so these patients don’t develop ulcers and infections,” Dr. Betchart said.
Additionally, those in the area can participate in the Connecticut Medicaid HUSKY Program, which allows for two pairs of therapeutic shoes per year for patients with certain conditions as well.