Advanced Tendon Repair Using the FAST Procedure
Posted by Jenn F. on Tuesday, March 10th, 2015
It’s been reported that 10 million Americans suffer tendon injuries each year. Micro-tears in the tendons can be caused over time by overuse, or they can tear with one sudden, acute injury when crucial support muscles are weak or when too much force is applied. Typically, our first recommendation for patients with Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis is rest, ice, compression therapy, elevation, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication.
However, “after about 8-10 weeks, tendonitis ceases to be strictly an inflammation problem and becomes more of a degenerative issue,” according to the Daily Herald. For these cases, Focused Aspiration of Scar Tissue (also sometimes called the FAST or Tenex procedure) can be a marvelous treatment for someone with severe symptoms who doesn’t want to go through major surgery. It’s one of the many advanced treatments our NYC podiatrists offer for ankle and foot pain at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine.
How The FAST Procedure Works To Repair Damaged Tendons
Upper Michigan Source news explains that the FAST procedure involves the following steps:
– The incision area is numbed using a local anesthetic.
– A handheld probe is inserted and the damaged tissue is located using ultrasound imaging.
– The podiatrist activates the device, which cools, cuts, and removes the tissue from the body.
– After the quick 20 minute procedure, a bandage is placed over the incision, which must be kept dry for about a week.
– The body then responds to fill the void with new, healthy tissue.
Patients have said the FAST procedure “gave them their life back” after months of debilitating pain.
FAST Tendon Repair Recovery
While everyone responds at their own pace, we find patients report significant pain reduction after two weeks. We provide a script for pain medication that the patient should take before the pain fully hits, and continue taking on-schedule. A walking boot will be worn for a period of two weeks and we recommend no weight-bearing activities during this time. Normal activities can generally be resumed at the six-week mark. Our NYC podiatrists in Manhattan and White Plains are very excited to offer this innovative treatment as an alternative to open tendon repair surgery, which has a four- to six-month recovery period. No wonder Podiatry Today Magazine named the Tenex FAST procedure one of the “Top 10 Innovations for Podiatry” in 2013.
Other Minimally Invasive Alternatives To The FAST Procedure
Depending on your situation, we offer a few other options to repair damaged tendons, including:
– Platelet Rich Plasma injection therapy – We can inject the site of injury with your own blood that has been “spun” to increase the concentration of healing platelets and prompt faster healthy tissue regeneration. This treatment works best in the early stages of tendon injury — before scar tissue has formed. It will not remove damaged tissue, but can prompt new tissue growth.
– Shockwave therapy – We like to use this treatment on diabetic patients or other individuals who may have slow wound-healing times, as this therapy does not require an incision. Using a handheld device, we send low energy waves into the soft tissues to trigger the release of biochemicals that foster the body’s natural healing processes, including new blood vessel formation.
NYC Tendon Repair
Contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine to learn more about advanced therapies for tendon pain in NYC. Our board-certified podiatrists and podiatric surgeons can lead you through physical therapy, non-invasive and minimally invasive treatments, or surgical options that will heal your pain quickly and resolve underlying conditions efficiently.
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.