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Innovative Technique for Chronic Tendon and Plantar Fascia Pain available at St. Bernards

Jul 19, 2017

We are excited to introduce a new cutting edge, high tech and minimally invasive treatment for chronic tendon and plantar fascia pain.  The Tenex Health TX device was developed in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic and is used to remove the abnormal part of the tendon or plantar fascia that is causing pain. What is a tendon?  Why is it painful? A tendon is the soft tissue that connects a muscle to bone. With repetitive motion or over time, small “microtears” can develop in the tendon causing pain, so-called “wear and tear.” The body tries to heal the tendon on its own, and it does a good job of doing so. However, if the body is unable to heal itself within a fairly short amount of time, it becomes unlikely that the tendon can heal without some sort of additional therapy. What are my treatment options for tendon or plantar fascia pain?

  •  Rest
  • Medication like steroids and Ibuprofen can decrease the pain but do not address the underlying problem.
  • Physical therapy
  • PRP (platelet rich plasma) and stem cells are potential treatments, but they are currently considered experimental and are not covered by insurance.
  • Open surgical procedure
  • Tenex TX minimally invasive procedure

What will my experience be like with the Tenex TX procedure? Initially, you will have an appointment with one of our radiologists where we will find out about your pain and discuss the Tenex TX procedure in detail with you. It is done in an outpatient setting with local anesthetic. Ultrasound guidance is used to place the Tenex TX device into the abnormal part of the tendon or plantar fascia. The tip of the TX device is about the size of a toothpick, and it uses ultrasonic energy designed to precisely break down and remove only the damaged tissue, leaving normal structures intact. Treatment with the Tenex TX device can be done in 30 minutes or less. At the end of the procedure, a small adhesive bandage is placed at the treatment site – no stitches are needed. Benefits of treatment with Tenex TX device include:

  • Minimally invasive, safe outpatient procedure
  • Rapid pain relief
  • Quick recovery time compared with open surgery.  Most patients are normal six to eight weeks after the procedure.
  • Covered by most insurance, Medicare and Medicaid

What are some of the conditions that can be treated with Tenex TX?

  • Tennis/Golfer’s elbow (pain on the outside or inside of the elbow)
  • Plantar fasciitis (pain on the bottom of the foot at the heel)
  • Achillies tendinosis (pain behind your ankle just above the heel)
  • Greater trochanteric/gluteal pain (pain on the outside of the hip)
  • Patellar tendinosis/Jumper’s knee (pain just below the kneecap)
  • Shoulder tendinosis

Who is a candidate for treatment with Tenex TX?

  • Tendon or plantar fascia pain for three months or longer.
  • Point tenderness, can use a finger to show the painful area.
  • Ongoing pain despite trying a conservative therapy such as rest, activity modification, steroid shot, physical therapy, brace, etc.

We are proud to be the only providers in the region and the first radiologists in Arkansas to offer treatment with the cutting edge Tenex TX device.  We are committed to providing first-class musculoskeletal radiology services to the people of northeast Arkansas, a community we call home. To learn more about Tenex Health TX, visit their website: Call the St. Bernards Healthline at 870-207-7300 to set up a Tenex consultation.  Ask your healthcare provider to refer you for a consultation by scheduling a “tenotomy pre-evaluation appointment.” Dr. Zeke Shotts received his medical degree from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, then completed a residency at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Shotts completed a residency in Diagnostic Radiology and a fellowship in Musculoskeletal Radiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He specializes in Musculoskeletal Radiology and provides diagnostic and therapeutic image-guided musculoskeletal procedures of the shoulder, knee, elbow, foot/ankle, hand/wrist and hip.  To learn more about Dr. Shotts, please visit