TENEX Tendon Rejuvenation is a non-surgical procedure performed to treat tendinopathy, or chronic tendon pain. Tendons are tissues that connect the muscles to the bones and allow an individual to bend, walk, jump and make a wide range of movement. Damaged tendons can cause pain and restrict movement.
What is Tendinopathy?
Tendinopathy, also known as tendinosis, is a condition that involves collagen breakdown in a tendon. Tendinopathy is most common in the Achilles tendon, the patellar tendon, hamstring tendons and rotator cuff tendons. Symptoms of tendinopathy include burning pain that becomes worse in the morning and night time, pain that gets worse when using the tendon, and reduced flexibility and range of motion.
The Causes of Tendinopathy
The condition may be caused by sudden stress on or overuse of a tendon. Old age and lack of muscle tone may also contribute to tendinopathy. Left untreated, tendinopathy may lead to tendonitis.
The following factors may increase the risk of developing tendinopathy:
- Poor technique when exercising or playing sports
- Old age
- Repetitive motion performed over an extended period of time
Treatment Options for Tendinopathy
Tendinopathy may be treated using the RICE method, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate. Patients may also benefit from physical therapy. A physical therapist will help the patient rebuild strength and stimulate healing in the tendon through gentle exercises. Two common techniques used by physical therapists to treat tendinopathy include deep transverse friction massage, which is performed to stimulate cell activity and generate new collagen fibers, and eccentric exercises, which are designed to lengthen muscles while they contract.
Patients with severe tendinopathy may need tendon repair surgery. The recovery process may take up to 12 weeks.
What is TENEX Tendon Rejuvenation?
TENEX was developed by Tenex Health and approved by the FDA in 2012. Today it is used to treat a variety of conditions, including tennis and golf elbow, patellar tendonitis (jumper’s knee), Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciopathy, rotator cuff tendonitis and tendinopathy. The TENEX procedure involves using an ultrasonic needle that oscillates at high frequency to remove degenerated scar tissue in the tendon.
Who is a Candidate?
The procedure is recommended for patients who have not experienced relief from other treatments, such as rest, immobilization and rehabilitation. The benefits of the procedure include fast pain relief, no risk, and quick recovery.
What to Expect During the Procedure
The radiologist will begin the procedure by cleaning the treatment area and applying a local anesthetic. He or she will then use ultrasound imaging to obtain a live view of the damaged tendon and make a tiny incision near the affected tendon. The needle will use ultrasonic frequencies to to break down and remove scar tissue without harming the healthy tissue. Once the scar tissue has been removed, the radiologist will bandage the incision site. The entire procedure typically lasts no more than 20 minutes.
After the Procedure
The recovery process lasts four to six weeks, which is much shorter than the recovery period following surgery. Patients may take over-the-counter pain medication and receive physical therapy to aid in the recovery.