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New Podiatry Procedure for Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis, Tendinosis

Posted by floriza in Podiatry

A new podiatry procedure called FAST – Focused Aspiration of Soft Tissue – treats plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinosis. The procedure utilizes ultrasonic energy rather than surgery to remove diseased and degenerated soft tissue from the foot while leaving healthy tissue intact. FAST can remove the source of pain without the need for surgery.

The FAST procedure is advantageous because it is minimally invasive, requires only 15 minutes, is not painful for patients, and can be done under only local anesthesia. The procedure has also been effective beyond podiatry to treat patellar tendinosis of the knee and tendinosis in the elbow. Developed by Tenex Health Inc., a company located in Lake Forest, California, in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic, the procedure will also be evaluated for use on the shoulder and other parts of the body.

During FAST, scar tissue on the foot is found using traditional ultrasound technology. Then, the practitioner can use the FAST procedure, which utilizes a very small instrument no larger than a toothpick, to remove the scar tissue. The resulting wound is very small and does not require stitches. It can simply be covered with a small bandage.

After four to eight weeks, the patient can usually resume normal activities, including weight-bearing exercises, which is a considerably shorter recovery period than after the usual surgical procedures to remove degenerated tendon tissue. Patients report some soreness after the procedure, but it is generally less than after open surgery. Non-prescription medication can be taken to manage the pain, if necessary.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is characterized by heel pain and is very common in athletes and the middle-aged. It refers to the plantar fascia, which is the soft tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. It is usually caused by poor posture, overuse, or ill-fitting shoes.

What is Achilles Tendinosis?

A tendon is soft, fibrous tissue that connects muscles to joint bones and aids in movement. When tendons are injured, movement is restricted and/or painful. The Achilles tendons are located in the back of the feet, connecting the heels to the lower leg muscles in the calves. The Achilles tendon is the strongest in the body but is still very prone to injury, most frequently due to accidents, overuse, or ill-fitting footwear.

Annually, more than ten million people in America experience a tendon injury. Tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon, while tendinosis is a tear or tears in the tendon. Tendinosis is chronic and leads to pain, swelling, and stiffness.

Podiatry in New Jersey is an excellent way to determine what is causing foot pain and how to best treat it.

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