How can Baird Vascular Institute at VCU Health help my heel pain?

baird heel pain

Tendons are the tough, flexible bands of tissue that connect your muscles to the bones in your joints, working together to allow all the twisting, gripping, grabbing, bending and lifting in your busy life. But repetitive pounding motions can cause microscopic tears every time you use your tendon. As you keep at it, these micro tears do not have time to heal properly and, unless treated, can get worse, making you suffer for months or years. This condition is often called simply tendinitis (tendon inflammation), but usually is actually tendinosis, tendon tissue that has simply broken down from the overuse and micro tears.

You know the feeling – it’s gotten a little worse with time. That little twinge you felt on your daily jog has now become a knife-sharp sting in the exact same spot with every step you take, every day. It’s impossible to ignore the pain…and you shouldn’t. Tendon injuries need attention. Sometimes, rest, therapy and a change in activities may ease the pain…but often the damage is permanent, and only gets worse.

Sometimes you can cope with tendon injuries with ice, rest, physical therapy and other treatments – particularly if you stop the repetitive activity and rest as soon as you feel the very first twinges. More often than not, people try coping with the growing pain, on the job or at play. However, if the damage doesn’t heal properly, or if you continue the activity and increase the damage, you risk long-term injury, constant pain – and giving up an activity you love.

We can help. Using precision ultrasound imaging guidance and a minimally invasive treatment, we can delicately remove the damaged tendon tissue and get you back to the activities you love in a matter of weeks – with little to no pain. Unlike other medical or physical therapies, this procedure safely removes the cause of the pain at the source, and unlike many traditional surgical procedures, it is far less invasive, requires far less recovery time – and has a much higher success rate. The treatment requires only a local anesthetic and a tiny incision, and is virtually pain-free. We use a targeted application of ultrasound energy to break down the damaged tendon tissue while leaving surrounding healthy tissue untouched.

We then use an FDA-cleared device to remove the damaged tendon tissue. You don’t even need stitches. The entire treatment takes about 20 minutes.

Most people won’t need any further treatment, such as physical therapy. You wear a walking boot for a week or two while the area heals. The most common post-procedure problem reported is some soreness, which can generally be treated with over-the-counter pain medication and typically lasts less than a week. In a recent study, doctors reported no other side effects. More than 25,000 people have had the treatment since 2012, with a high rate of satisfaction. In most cases, patients are back to the activities they love in six weeks or less.

Call us at (804) 828-2600 to discuss whether image-guided treatment is the right option for you.

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