Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I’ve tried physical therapy and medication for my tendon pain, but I want to avoid surgery. I can’t wait that long to recover. Can Tenex Health's minimally invasive technology help me?
A: If you have already explored traditional treatments and have been in pain for over 3 months, you may be ready for a tenotomy by a surgeon who uses Tenex Health technology. Unlike medical or physical therapies which primarily only increase blood flow, the goal of Tenex Health's minimally invasive technology is to remove the source of pain, the damaged tissue inside your body, but without involving open surgery. This is a relatively safer option than open surgery. Use of Tenex Health technology for your tenotomy requires only a local anesthetic to numb the area. Typically, you do not need general anesthesia (to be put to sleep) as you would in traditional open surgery. When the procedure is completed, only a small adhesive bandage is used. In most cases no sutures or stitches are needed.
Q: Can you tell me more about the procedure?
A: Please visit our Product Overview page for more information about Tenex Health’s technology and how it is used for your procedure.
Q: Does the procedure using Tenex Health technology hurt?
A: Typically, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the area, which may cause you to feel a momentary bee sting-type pain before the procedure. However, you should not feel any pain during the procedure, only a slight pressure. During your recovery, you may be sore in the treated area for a short period of time. Over-the-counter pain medication is usually all that is needed for the discomfort.
Q: How long does it take to recover?
A: Unlike traditional open surgeries that may take 6 months or longer for recovery, Tenex Health’s minimally invasive technology recovery period is expected to be just 4-6 weeks. After consulting with your doctor, you should be able to return to your normal activities. Your healthcare professional will provide complete instructions after the treatment. Please note that your individual results may vary.
Q: Will I have to take medications after the procedure?
A: If you feel any discomfort after the treatment, you can take an over-the-counter pain medication. After your procedure, your doctor will provide specific instructions based on your condition, work, and lifestyle.
Q: Am I unique or do a lot of people have tendon pain?
A: Tendon pain is caused by repetitive stress injury. Many people have it for various reasons. Insurance data shows that in 2013, over 20 million people were diagnosed with some form of tendonitis. Many patients heal on their own, with rest, ice, and sometimes physical therapy. However, if you’ve suffered from tendonitis for more than 3 months and it is not getting better, there may be a change in your body where the tissue is degenerating and needs to be removed to completely eliminate the pain.
Q: Do I need a referral for Tenex Health technology to be used for my treatment?
A: This depends on your health insurance coverage. Physicians using Tenex Health technology are specialists: orthopedic surgeons, podiatrists, sport medicine trained fellowship doctors, interventional radiologists, interventional pain doctors, and PM&Rs. You may be able to schedule a consultation with them directly if your health insurance permits. If your health insurance requires a referral, you can ask your Primary Care Physician.
Q: Is It a new procedure?
A: Tenex Health’s minimally invasive technology is an effective and innovative breakthrough for the treatment of chronic tendon pain, eliminating the need for traditional surgery. The technology was developed in collaboration with the world-renown Mayo Clinic and was cleared for sale by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States in 2013. Over 81,000 procedures have been successfully completed using Tenex Health’s minimally invasive technology. Furthermore, the technology has been tested in clinical settings with as much as 3 years of positive follow-up on patients.
Q: If I don’t have the procedure, what can I expect? Can the tendon ever just repair itself?
A: Studies from the Mayo Clinic9 have shown that while 80% of patients get better with conservative treatments within the first 6 months of experiencing pain, 20% of patients report persistent, recurring symptoms and experience chronic pain. Even 15% of those patients that do get better within 6 months often have a recurrence of pain. After 6 months, there can be a change in the underlying tissue which can become necrotic, a likely root cause of the pain. Without definitive treatment to remove the damaged tissue, all other methods simply manage the pain by increasing blood flow to the area and strengthening your muscles to compensate. Only surgery (traditional open incision, or minimally-invasive with Tenex Health technology) removes the diseased tissue that is causing the pain, enabling your body to fully heal.
Q: What is the accurate name of the medical procedure?
A: The accurate names of the medical procedures are Tenotomy and Fasciotomy. Both procedures can be successfully completed using a traditional open surgery approach or a minimally invasive surgery approach). Tenex Health technology allows physicians to perform a minimally invasive Tenotomy or Fasciotomy, minimizing pain, and reducing recovery time.
9 Sanders, The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 2014.