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Minimally Invasive Tenex Procedure Treats Plantar Fasciitis Heel Pain

Updated: Mar 19, 2020

Where Conservative Treatments Fall Short, Tenex Health’s Technology Steps In

The idea of removing scar tissue to treat soft-tissue injuries isn’t new. But there is a new, minimally invasive method of scar tissue removal that’s called the Tenex procedure, which was created in partnership with the Mayo Clinic as an alternative to surgery. It has become an increasingly popular method for resolving chronic cases of plantar fasciitis. If you’re considering the Tenex procedure for plantar fasciitis, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Tenex.

Tenex Health’s minimally invasive technology allows a rapid and precise option for removing chronic ligament or tendon pain without open surgery or lengthy and tedious treatment plans.

What is the Tenex Procedure?

The Tenex procedure is a minimally-invasive treatment that uses high-frequency ultrasound vibrations and a specialized tool to remove accumulated scar tissue from a damaged tendon (or in cases of plantar fasciitis, a damaged plantar fascia ligament).

Is the Tenex Procedure Effective in Treating Plantar Fasciitis?

Since Tenex was approved in 2013, more than 80,000 procedures have been performed. And the results are very promising. Clinical studies, as well as several years of followup research on post-treatment outcomes are impressive. A large study which was specific to plantar fasciitis, evaluated 53 patients who underwent the Tenex procedure, and found that at 6 months post-procedure, the vast majority (96%) were pleased with their results and would recommend Tenex to a friend. Other studies Tenex cites show 92%-100% resolution from plantar fasciitis and plantar fibromas. Overall, the Tenex Health company recommends at least 85% improvement within weeks for all areas treated with Tenex procedures.

What to Expect During the Tenex Procedure

After you arrive for your scheduled Tenex procedure, your doctor will use local anesthesia to numb your foot. Once your foot is numb, your doctor will use ultrasound imaging to precisely locate the scar tissue that he or she will remove with the Tenex Procedure. Your doctor will then create a tiny incision on your heel, and insert a specialized instrument (the Tenex Tissue Removal System, which has a needle-like tip) that releases high-frequency vibrations to destroy scar tissue and remove it with a built-in suction mechanism, while leaving healthy tissue unharmed. Usually the incision is so small that there is no need for stitches and Steri-strips are applied. There is also very little chance of any scarring of the skin.

The entire Tenex Procedure should take less than 30 minutes, and should not be painful, after the local anesthesia is administered. Once completed, your incision will be bandaged, and you will be able to leave the treatment facility wearing a CAM Walker boot. Physical therapy is then performed for a few weeks after the procedure.

Benefits of the Tenex Procedure

The Tenex procedure offers some unique benefits for people who struggle with chronic plantar fasciitis, especially in comparison with traditional open surgery:

• Fast relief from heel pain following the procedureShorter healing time, compared to open surgery (many people recover in as little as three weeks)

• Small incision that doesn’t require stitches

• No scarring, and very few potential side effects

• Precise tool that, when used with guided ultrasound imaging, can destroy only damaged tissue while leaving healthy tissue intact

• Promising results in clinical studiesLocal anesthesia, instead of general anesthesia

• Typically covered by insurance, making the procedure less expensive

• Great alternative for patients who haven’t had success with conservative treatments, orthotics, physical therapy, or cortisone shots

Possible Side Effects and Risks of the Tenex Procedure

There are very few documented side effects of the Tenex procedure, and all are minor and temporary. As you recover, you may experience pain, redness, tenderness, or swelling in the foot that has been treated. You may also notice some bruising or minimal trauma to the treatment area. You can manage these symptoms with ice packs and NSAIDs as needed.

How Much Does the Tenex Procedure Cost?

The cost of a Tenex procedure will depend on whether or not it’s covered by your particular insurance company (most providers do cover the Tenex procedure), whether the procedure is performed in a hospital setting, outpatient surgery center, or a doctor’s office, and whether local anesthetic or sedation is used (most people just need local anesthetic).

Without using insurance, Tenex can cost anywhere from $2,000-$5,000 according to representatives from Tenex Health. This varies based upon location, any other adjunct procedures which could be performed by the physician such as Regenerative Medicine injection (stem cells or platelet-rich plasma), and any other costs involved, which would be discussed in advance.

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