Did you know that scar tissue plays a vital role in wound healing? It’s true: Typically tougher than “regular” tissue, scar tissue repairs damaged tissue and replaces it with a network of fibrous scar tissue that restores the area and helps protect it from future damage.
But even though scar tissue is crucial for healing, there are times when its fibrous nature can cause problems. Some types of chronic pain are actually caused by scar tissue that forms in or around tendons, interfering with normal movement and function.
Fortunately, Tenex® therapy can help. Using a technique called focused aspiration of scar tissue (or FAST), Tenex relies on state-of-the-art technology to break down and remove scar tissue without major surgery.
At his offices in Sugar Land and Houston, Texas, J. Michael Bennett, MD, PA, offers Tenex therapy to help eliminate chronic pain, swelling, and tenderness caused by a buildup of scar tissue in and around tendons. Here’s how Tenex works.
Tenex was designed specifically to rehabilitate tendons, those fibrous bands that connect your muscles to your bones. When you move, tendons move back and forth — lengthening and shortening — to help muscles stretch and flex.
Even though they allow your muscle tissue to stretch, tendons themselves aren’t very stretchy, and straining or stretching them too much can cause tiny tears and other damage in or around the tendon. As these areas heal, scar tissue forms, and because it’s tougher than the tendon’s natural tissue, it can wind up binding the tendon and preventing it from moving the way it’s supposed to.
Tenex restores tendons by gently breaking apart scar tissue so it can be removed through a slim suctioning device (a technique called aspiration). How does it do it? With highly focused ultrasound energy waves, the same type of energy that’s used in noninvasive imaging studies (and during pregnancy to monitor fetal development).
Tenex is a minimally invasive procedure performed using a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area. Next, Dr. Bennett makes a tiny incision over the damaged tendon and inserts a tiny probe.
The tip of the probe delivers bursts of ultrasound energy to break apart scar tissue, then uses suction to remove it from your body. Once the scar tissue is removed, Dr. Bennett applies a bandage to the area to protect it and allow it to heal. The entire in-office Tenex treatment takes about a half-hour or less.
It’s common to have a little soreness in the area afterward. Dr. Bennett can prescribe pain medicine to help you feel better, but over-the-counter medicines can also help. Most patients return to regular activities within a month or so. Dr. Bennett will give you specific aftercare instructions based on your needs.
Dr. Bennett routinely recommends Tenex therapy for soft tissue injuries affecting the:
Tenex is very effective in treating many sports-related injuries, like golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow, and jumper’s or runner’s knee.
Tenex therapy doesn’t just mask painful symptoms — it corrects the root cause of those symptoms for results that help you return to normal activities quickly and without pain (or long-term medication). To learn more about Tenex and whether it’s a good choice for your chronic tendon pain, book an appointment online or over the phone with Dr. Bennett today.