Chronic tendinopathy is a condition of tendon injury that does not heal and remains painful despite rest. This condition results in an estimated 10 million-physician visits per year in the United States alone. Tennis elbow, one of the most common chronic tendinopathies, is often treated with open surgical procedures when pain and dysfunction persist despite conservative treatment. Recently a new minimally invasive technique has been developed based on the principles of phacoemulsification. This technique, which has been successfully applied to extract cataracts, is now being used to remove diseased tissue associated with chronic tendinopathies. This technique uses a specialized probe to break up and remove abnormal tissue to allow new healthy tissue to form. This process has been shown to be helpful in multiple tendinopathies including lateral epicondylosis (tennis elbow), medial epicondylosis (golfer’s elbow), plantar fasciitis, patellar tendinosis and other tendon insertion tendinopathies. The procedure usually takes a few minutes, requires no stitches, and offers quick recovery time for patients.
Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylosis) is a common problem that frequently results in disabling elbow pain. Most patients with tennis elbow improve with conservative treatment such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, rest, elbow straps, physical therapy, and steroid injections. While steroid injections frequently help alleviate acute pain associated with tennis elbow, more recent studies suggest that the injections may actually be harmful to the tendon. Patients who do not respond to conservative treatment may be candidates for the new minimally invasive technique currently being offered by Dr. Cobb, the only hand surgeon in the Quad Cities to offer this procedure currently. A recent study of this procedure showed a 95% success rate. Over 1,000 procedures have been performed in the United States with no reported significant complications.
According to studies, the postoperative recovery is much faster compared to standard open procedures. Patients are allowed to resume nonrepetitive use in 2 days. After 5 days, patients are allowed to progress as tolerated. Some restriction of heavy use is expected (but not always necessary) for approximately 6 weeks. “I am extremely pleased with the results I am seeing in my patients who have been treated with this procedure,” says Dr. Cobb. “They have reported high satisfaction, quick recovery, and lasting pain relief. I believe this new option will become the treatment of choice for removing the source of tendon pain. For example, one patient recently reported not having any pain following the surgery.” One of Dr. Cobb’s patients, who recently had the procedure, discusses his results and experience in this patient testimonial video.
Schedule your appointment today to see if you are a candidate for this procedure. To learn more about other minimally invasive options offered by Dr. Cobb, call 563.344.9292 or visit www.osquadcities.com.
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