The goal of the Tenex FAST procedure is to identify and remove painful scar tissue that has developed in the elbow due to conditions like tennis or golfer’s elbow. During this procedure, your doctor will numb the affected area and use small tools to remove the scar tissue using ultrasound guidance. Afterwards, the tiny opening is covered with a bandage—no sutures required.
More About the Tenex Procedure
More About the Tenex Procedure
More accurately named Tenotomy or Fasciotomy, the Tenex Procedure uses of state-of-the-art technology to minimize pain and reduce the recovery time of more traditional, open procedures.
The technology was developed by Tenex Health in collaboration with researchers at the Mayo Clinic. In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the procedure in the United States. Since then, over 65,000 Tenex procedures have been successfully performed across the country with outstanding results.
Do I Need the Tenex Procedure?
Tendon pain can happen for many reasons, but if you have been experiencing pain for more than three months, there is a chance that the pain is being caused by tissue degeneration. When the tissue around a tendon is degenerating, the pain may not go away through rest, ice, and physical therapy alone. In these cases, the degenerated tissue needs to be removed from the area for the area to truly heal. With the Tenex procedure, pain is usually completely eliminated through minimally-invasive, ultrasonic technology that treats only damaged tissue while leaving healthy tissue completely intact.
During the Procedure
The first thing your doctor will do is examine the damaged area using ultrasound imaging to see the specific location of the degenerated tissue.
Next, the doctor will use a local anesthetic to numb the area and use an ultrasonic tool to break down and remove the damaged tissue through a small incision. You may feel a slight sting when the anesthetic is applied, but during the procedure, you will only feel a bit of pressure. The procedure take just 20 to 30 minutes to complete.
Because the incision is so small, there are no stitches required once the procedure is done. The doctor will apply a small bandage to the area, and you will be able to go home immediately afterwards. You will need to bring someone with you to the procedure as you will be advised to not drive for at least 24 hours.
After the Procedure
While open surgery can make for a recovery time of six months or longer, Tenex’s minimally-invasive approach ensures that patient recovery time is limited to only four to six weeks. After a consultation with your doctor, you should be able to return to full activity within about a month. Any pain or discomfort you feel after the procedure should be easily managed by over-the-counter pain medication.
You will receive full instructions from your healthcare provider based on your specific condition, work, and lifestyle. Physical therapy may be recommended after the procedure to ensure that you return to your full range of motion, strength, and flexibility. Please note that individual results may vary.
What Does the Doctor Say?
“The benefit of this is that you’re preserving all the healthy tissue around that area and you’re specifically going after the diseased tissue, and we do that by identifying it with ultrasound guidance…With this specific device, it’s nearly impossible to damage the healthy tissue because it only really breaks up the degenerative tissue because of the ultrasonic frequency. It actually vibrates and actually creates a fragmentation of the diseased tissue, whereas the healthy tissue doesn’t respond in the same way.” – Dr. J. Michael Bennett