Runners are finding solutions for chronic pain with Tenex Health TX™ procedures.
One of the most common running injuries we treat at Performance Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine is plantar fascia pain. This condition can be both challenging to treat for the physician and frustrating for the patient. New technology developed at the Mayo Clinic in collaboration with Tenex Health TX™ is offering a minimally invasive solution that is restoring hope to patients suffering from this debilitating condition.
The plantar fascia is a thick band of connective tissue that runs from the heel of the foot to the toes. This structure is primarily responsible for supporting the arch of the foot and absorbing the shock creating from walking, running or standing. With plantar fasciitis, small tears in the fascia become inflamed and painful which result in scar tissue formation. Scar tissue is extremely problematic because it creates adhesions on the plantar fascia, which restricts flexibility of the arch and hinders normal movement. Distance running, poor foot bio- mechanics (i.e. flat feet or high arches), as well as obesity and occupations that require prolonged standing are all factors that increase your risk for developing plantar fasciitis.
Clinical diagnosis is usually made by physical examination, however X-ray imaging and diagnostic ultrasound are often performed to evaluate the underlying etiology of the condition. It is not uncommon to also find a spur on the heel where the plantar fascia attaches. Heel spurs can often be a source of pain and inflammation.
Most cases of plantar fasciitis can be managed with rest, anti-inflammatory medications and a home stretching program. For more challenging cases, a cortisone injection into the plantar fascia with a regimen of physical therapy is very beneficial. Often an
orthotic (insert in the shoe) is recommended to support the arch and normalize the biomechanics of the foot. Until recently, if a patient failed conservative intervention they would often become a candidate for a surgical detachment of the plantar fascia. Patients seeking a less invasive procedure than surgery are turning to Tenex Health TX™, with excellent outcomes.
The Tenex Health TX™ procedure involves using ultrasound imaging technology, (the same kind used to see babies in the womb) to help the doctor identify the specific location of damaged, painful scar tissue. The physician will then create a micro incision at the injured site and insert the TX MicroTip (which is the size of a tooth pick.). The TX MicroTip uses ultrasonic energy to precisely remove only the damaged tissue, breaking it down without removing or hurting any healthy tissue.
Some of the advantages of Tenex Health TX™ over traditional surgery for plantar fascia include:
- Quick pain relief
- Rapid return to normal activity
- Local anesthetic used instead of general anesthesia
- No sutures or stiches
- Minimally invasive, not open surgery
Performance Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine utilizes a comprehensive, inter-disciplinary team approach to treatment unlike any other in the area. In some cases, the patient will also receive regenerative tissue therapy (Stem Cell or Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy) in conjunction with Tenex TX™ for a more comprehensive approach. To date, we have experienced excellent clinical outcomes utilizing the Tenex Health TM™ technology.
If you are suffering from stubborn plantar fascia or other heel pain please call one of our Patient Care Coordinators at 908-756-2424 or you may contact us online.
About the author
Joseph Mejia D.O., F.A.A.P.M.&R, Is a graduate of University of Michigan and West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. He is Board Certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine. Dr. Mejia received his Fellowship Training in Interventional Pain Management from University of Medicine and Dentistry (NJ). He has advanced training in Regenerative Medicine and is the Medical Director and Partner of Performance Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine.