Tenex Health TX
If you have a tendon that’s been bugging you forever—like tennis elbow, knee pain, plantar fasciitis and illotibial band syndrome (which has plagued many a runner)—this new procedure might just resolve it for good. “Damaged tendons are basically frayed,” says Dr. Keith Spain, who does the procedure in Naples at Collier Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center. “It used to be dealt with by cutting it open, cleaning it out, then sewing it closed.”
Instead, Tenex makes a small incision and uses a tiny, oscillating needle that emits ultrasonic waves. These waves shave off the damaged part of the tendon. It’s precise, too, because the doctor uses ultrasound to find the injury and to guide the needle during the procedure.
“This is mostly for people who have had pain a long time and had cortisone shots and it hasn’t gotten better,” says Dr. Spain. He explains that the Tenex surgery is basically taking a chronic pain and re-injuring it so that the body pays attention to it again, letting the body essentially heal itself with a little help from modern medicine.
The resulting scar is so small that it only needs a steri-strip to close it—“it’s like a Band-Aid, literally,” says Dr. Spain. “It’s much less painful [than open surgery] because I’m not cutting through skin, subcutaneous tissue and muscle to get to the source of the pain. I’m not having to do near the damage that then I’d have to repair.”
What that means is you’ll have something that’s bothered you forever out of your life in way less time. “If you compare the elbow—golfer’s elbow—at six weeks I’m letting you go back on the golf course. [With] the traditional surgery, you’re immobilized for three months.”
The cost for the procedure is a lot cheaper than the open surgery of yesteryear and can be covered by insurance.