Is image-guided treatment right for me?


“Excruciating.” That’s the word every active person uses to tell us about the pain of “runner’s heel” (plantar fasciitis), “tennis elbow” and other tendon injuries. That little twinge you felt on your daily jog or practicing your forehand has now become a knife-sharp sting in the exact same spot with every step or every swing 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.

Until now. 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.

If you answer yes to these questions, it may be time to discuss our image-guided tendon treatment.

  • Have you given up any activities due to tendon pain?
  • Have you been suffering for three months or longer?
  • Have you taken multiple steps to get rid of your pain without lasting success?
  • Are you tired of masking the pain or enduring it rather than treating it at the source?

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.

If you’re frustrated with chronic tendon pain or have tried multiple treatment options, image-guided tendon treatment – also called percutaneous tenotomy or fasciotomy – could be the treatment you need for rapid pain relief. 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 may require 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.

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 35,000 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.

We treat a range of common tendinitis or tendinosis conditions that can take you out of action:

  • “Runner’s heel” (plantar fasciosis or fasciitis)
  • “Tennis or golfer’s elbow” (lateral or medial epicondylosis of the elbow)
  • Achilles tendinosis

If you’re been coping with tendon pain, it may be time for us to help you get back in action.




How to get back in the groove after image-guided tendon treatment


Chronic tendon pain is often called tendonitis, tendinosis, runner’s knee, or tennis elbow. These are different terms for a condition that is common throughout the body.

Often when you have chronic tendonitis, you can easily pinpoint the exact location of your pain. Every time your dog yanks his leash, you step onto the next stair or you hammer a nail, you feel a sharp sting in one precise spot. This pain shouldn’t be ignored; tendons are important body parts that need attention when they are injured.

VCU Health at Baird Vascular Institute offers Image-Guided Tendon Treatment that has been proven to improve tendonitis in the elbow, shoulder, knee and foot, dramatically decreasing pain and improving overall functionality– all without the need for traditional open surgery or arthroscopic surgery. The highly effective treatment uses ultra-sound imaging and patented TX MicroTip technology to provide relief with less pain and minimal downtime. Unlike medicine or injections that mask the problem, this treatment eliminates it by removing the cause of your pain: the damaged and degenerated tendon tissue.

Once you’ve made the decision to go with image guided tendon treatment to alleviate your pain, you’re likely wondering how long it will be until you can return to normal activities. Because the surrounding healthy tissue is not disturbed, and no stitches are required, typical recovery is 6-8 weeks with image-guided tendon treatment though it may take up to three months for the treatment to take effect. That’s about a quarter of the recovery time compared to open surgery.

Here’s a timeline:

Minutes after procedure: Once your treatment is complete, you are permitted to go home. You may drive yourself if your doctor permits though it is likely that you will need someone to drive you home if you were given any sedation.

Days after procedure: You can take over-the-counter pain medication such as Tylenol® (you want to avoid NSAID pain relievers such as Motrin® or Aleve®) should you feel any discomfort; though many patients feel pain relief very quickly. However, always be sure to follow your physician’s instructions.

2 weeks after procedure: For at least 2 weeks after your procedure, you should not perform any weight-bearing exercises or activities. For your knee, ankle and foot, wear your walking boot for a minimum of 2 weeks.

6-8 weeks after procedure: You should be back to your everyday activities as normal in 6-8 weeks. Your individual results may vary, so talk to your doctor about what to expect.

We have an entire series of videos that describe the various patient questions surrounding image guided tendon treatment, so be sure to give them a look. When you’re ready to learn more and see us in person, call us at (804) 828-2600 to discuss whether image-guided treatment is the right option for you.


Why you shouldn’t ignore vascular issues


People often ignore or brush off certain symptoms as “minor” when it comes to their health. Many times, vascular issues are indicative of a larger problem, or more serious illness. Here are some issues that you should definitely speak to your physician about.

Leg pain: Pains that start in your legs with walking or other exertion could be a sign of peripheral artery disease (PAD), which often goes hand-in-hand with coronary artery disease.

Varicose veins: Varicose veins are not just an unsightly cosmetic annoyance, but also an indication that the veins in your legs are not working the way they should. Untreated varicose veins can lead to more serious issues including blood clots, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

There are more than 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body, providing the network for the flow of oxygen and nutrients required by the body for good health. VCU Health at Baird Vascular Institute has the latest in technology and techniques to diagnose and treat vascular disease. If we uncover signs of vascular disease, our experts can develop a custom treatment plan for you.










Sources: Cleveland Clinic, VCU Health at Baird Vascular Institute