Tendon injuries such as tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, jumper’s knee, Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis impact 10 million Americans every year. Minimally invasive procedures are on the rise thanks to recent advances in the world of interventional radiology. Traditional treatments include rest, physical therapy, anti-inflammation medications, steroid or platelet-rich plasma injections and open surgery. These open surgeries mean large incisions, high levels of pain, and long recovery times, but new procedures can now be completed in the comfort of an out-patient office.
Tenex Health TX™, a procedure developed in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic, uses ultrasonic waves to remove the source of pain — scarred and damaged tissue — without disturbing the surrounding healthy tissue. This allows individuals to resume activities with a much faster recovery time than traditional surgery.
Interventional Radiologists use ultrasound technology to identify the scar within tendon pain. The area is numbed with a local anesthetic and a small incision is made to allow the treatment probe-needle tip to enter the tendon. Guided by ultrasound, the probe is precisely placed into the scarred portion of the tendon. The treatment probe then emits ultrasonic energy specifically calibrated to break up scar tissue into tiny pieces. Simultaneously the probe dilutes the broken-down scar tissue into saline and removes it from the body. There are no stitches and the procedure takes about 20 minutes.
“Typically our patients can perform regular non-strenuous activities with the treated tendon the day after the procedure. A brace or walking boot (if Achilles tendon or plantar fascia treatment) is worn for two weeks. Patients can usually get back to full unrestricted activity by four to six weeks after treatment, compared with six to 12 months with open surgery,” says Dr. Aaron Braun an advanced Tenex TX™ practitioner of Advanced Medical Imaging.
Tendonitis can be caused by a number of factors, including trauma (damage to the tendon from a hit, twist or pull to the joint); or repetitive motion (damage to the tendon from overuse in work, exercise or activity). In each of these situations, the tendon tissue is damaged and is unable to operate at full capacity. This damaged tendon tissue causes pain. Eventually, the damaged tissue in the tendon will limit the ability to move the joint and perform daily activities. Tenex TX™ procedure consults are available in Lincoln at Advanced Medical Imaging at 7601 Pioneers Blvd. Referrals are not needed to make an appointment and can be made by calling 402-484-6677.