How the Tenex Procedure Can Help With Chronic Pain

Apr 17, 2023
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Tenex® uses the power of radiofrequency energy to treat chronic pain involving tendon injuries without the need for invasive surgery. Here’s how Tenex could help you find relief for your chronic pain.

Chronic pain affects millions of Americans, with symptoms ranging from relatively minor to severe and debilitating. But no matter how mild or severe your pain is, there’s no denying that chronic symptoms can take a big toll on your quality of life.

While different problems can cause chronic pain, many symptoms are due to issues with your tendons, strong bands of tissue that connect your muscles to your bones. Years of repetitive movements, excess strain, and traumatic injuries can all play roles in tendon injuries and their painful symptoms. 

At Carolina Joint and Arthritis in Wilmington, North Carolina, Austin Yeargan, III, MD, and his team offer the state-of-the-art Tenex® treatment system, featuring ultrasound energy to target and treat damaged tendon tissues without harming surrounding healthy tissue. In this post, learn how Tenex works and whether it might be a good solution to your chronic pain.

The science of Tenex

One reason tendon injuries are so common is that you have thousands of tendons in your body, and each is involved in movement. In fact, most of your tendons get a workout every day, helping you perform all sorts of activities.

The problem is that tendons aren’t designed to be very “stretchy,” which means they can be injured and irritated if stretched too far or overworked. Repetitive use and strain cause inflammation in the tendon, sometimes leading to microscopic tissue tears. Sometimes, scar tissue forms, preventing the tendon from moving normally.

Also called percutaneous needle tenotomy, Tenex uses targeted ultrasound energy to gently break apart scar tissue (called adhesions) and other abnormal collagen changes, helping your tendon regain its normal flexibility and range of motion. At the same time, the energy waves promote natural healing responses to help the tendon recover more quickly.

Dr. Yeargan and his team frequently recommend Tenex treatment for problems like:

  • Tendonitis and tendinosis
  • Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow
  • Knee pain
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Rotator cuff pain

Treatment is minimally invasive and performed right in our office as an outpatient treatment.

Your Tenex procedure

Treatment begins with carefully cleansing your skin, followed by a strong local anesthetic to numb the injection site. Next, Dr. Yeargan makes a tiny puncture in your skin and inserts the Tenex needle applicator. Using ultrasound, he positions the tip of the applicator at the site of injury.

Once the tip is in place, ultrasound waves target the damaged tissue, gently breaking up tough scar tissue and triggering natural healing. Once the area is treated, Dr. Yeargan withdraws the needle and places a small bandage over the insertion site. Most treatments take no more than 15 minutes.

Afterward, your tendon will need some time to heal — typically about 4-6 weeks. That’s much faster than recovery after tendon surgery, which takes six months or longer.

Learn how Tenex can help you

Chronic pain can limit your activities and take a toll on you physically and emotionally. To learn how Tenex can help you feel better and restore your quality of life, call 910-659-9597 or book an appointment online with Carolina Joint and Arthritis today.