The Tenex procedure is a minimally-invasive, nonsurgical intervention that podiatrists use to treat chronic tendon and ligament pain. This treatment is also known as percutaneous ultrasonic fasciotomy or percutaneous ultrasonic tenotomy. Developed by Tenex Health in partnership with the Mayo Clinic, Tenex is a relatively recent advancement. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the pain-relief procedure in 2012 and cleared it for sale the following year. In the years since, it has become a popular alternative to traditional tendon or ligament surgeries.
How the Tenex Procedure Works
This state-of-the-art treatment uses high-frequency ultrasound energy to break down and remove damaged tissue associated with podiatric tendon or ligament injuries. After numbing the affected area with a local anesthetic, the podiatrist makes a small incision, which allows for the insertion of a TX MicroTip (a tool that resembles a hollow needle). As the TX MicroTip vibrates with the high-frequency ultrasound energy, it works to relieve pain, eliminate damaged tissue, and stimulate the body's natural healing processes.
Tenex Treatment Benefits
The Tenex procedure offers numerous benefits compared to traditional therapies for chronic ligament and tendon injuries. Not only is the Tenex procedure typically completed in a single session, it’s usually performed on an outpatient basis.
Other Benefits of Tenex
- Tenex is safe and FDA approved.
- Sessions take between 15 and 30 minutes.
- The intervention is relatively pain free, thanks to the use of a local anesthetic.
- At the end of the session, the small incision is bandaged rather than stitched.
- Patients can typically resume normal activities within a week to 10 days of the procedure and more strenuous activities within 3 to 12 weeks (while recovery periods for open surgeries can be six months or longer).
- The procedure may be covered by insurance.
Conditions Tenex Can Treat
As you stand, walk, run, and jump, your feet and ankles are subject to considerable stress. When the ligaments (the strong bands of elastic tissue that connect bones to bones) or the tendons (the tough cords of flexible tissue that connect muscles to bones) in your feet/ankle are injured, every step you make can be painful. The Tenex procedure is particularly helpful in treating heel pain, sports injuries, repetitive motion injuries, progressive weight-bearing injuries, and other common podiatric problems.
Who Can Benefit From the Tenex Procedure
Tenex isn't meant to replace first-line treatments such as R.I.C.E., lifestyle changes, physical therapy, or custom orthotics. However, if you've struggled with chronic tendon or ligament pain in your feet or ankles and conventional therapies have not provided relief, you may be a good candidate for the Tenex procedure.