By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new way to zap away pain has become a popular alternative to medications and injections. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl shows you how it works.
Renee Janowicz says her shoulder pain interfered with everything. It even kept her up at night.
Karen Hosey had the same kind of misery, but hers was in her elbow. She couldn’t even lift a cup of coffee.
Karen and Renee are among millions of Americans who suffer from tendonitis, damaged tendons caused by repetitive activity or an injury.
“I couldn’t take it. Everything that I did in my daily life came to a halt. I work, and I couldn’t type without pain. I would wake up in the middle of the night,” said Karen.
In these types of cases, there are micro-tears to a tendon which then become scar tissue. Karen says the typical treatments, physical therapy and steroid injections, didn’t work, and she didn’t want surgery. So she opted for a new procedure with Dr. Tom Plut, of Lourdes Medical Center. He’s treating tendonitis with a device called Tenex Health TX.
“It’s really helped my patients a lot. The device is developed for chronic scar tissue pain throughout the body,” said Dr. Plut.
He says that with a local anesthetic, there’s a tiny incision. Then, with ultrasound imagery, the probe is guided to the injured tendon. Ultrasonic energy breaks up and sucks out the damaged tissue.
“It’s minimally invasive, [a] small incision, so because of that, the healing time is quicker. There’s less risk of infection, less post procedure pain,” said Dr. Plut.
There are no stitches with the therapy, and it’s mainly used on shoulders, elbows and feet. Recovery time is four to six weeks.
Karen says during the procedure she felt pulling but didn’t have pain. She says the 20 minute procedure was quick and easy, and she’s slowly getting back into all her activities, like exercise class and golf.
“I basically have my life back, so it’s been wonderful, absolutely wonderful,” said Karen.
Renee also had the procedure, and after a few weeks of building back her strength, she’s back to moving easily, pain free.
The ultrasound therapy is FDA cleared and covered by insurance. Doctors say it works for most people, but not everyone. Unfortunately, about 10 percent don’t get pain relief.
For more information on Tenex Health TX, visit: http://www.tenexhealth.com/
For more information on Lourdes Health System, visit: https://www.lourdesnet.org