Andrews Institute Has New Procedure for Tendon Pain
The Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Pensacola, Fla., has introduced a new treatment that reportedly quickly and safely removes the source of tendon pain. Joshua Hackel, M.D., one of the first doctors in the United States trained to perform the Focused Aspiration of Scar Tissue (FAST) procedure, helps patients suffering from tendon and soft tissue injuries such as tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, jumper’s knee, Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.
Lake City, Fla., resident Andy Moore was experiencing a lot of elbow pain, even while performing simple daily tasks such as shaking hands. After traditional treatment options failed to help, he traveled to the Andrews Institute.
“Dr. Hackel said my elbow tendon was ‘shredded’ but today, it feels as good as new. I am thrilled at the success of this treatment and how it helped me get back to a normal life,” said Moore.
The FAST procedure, designed in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic, is performed using a local anesthetic, allowing patients to remain awake and alert during treatment. Using ultrasound imaging, the scar tissue is identified and a small instrument about the size of a toothpick is inserted into the damaged tendon. Ultrasonic energy then cuts, breaks up and removes the damaged tissue without disturbing surrounding healthy tendon tissue. The procedure typically takes about 15 minutes or less, requires only an adhesive bandage to close the microincision, and offers quick recovery time for patients.
“Traditional treatment options for tendon-related injuries do not include a quick recovery,” said Hackel. “With the FAST procedure, I am able to change the nature of the disease, and get them back to the activities they love faster than ever before possible.”
Currently, more than 10 million Americans suffer from severe pain due to tendon scar tissue. Previously, the gold standard in treatment options included a combination of rest, pain medication, cortisone injections, and/or physical therapy to address the pain but not the actual source of pain—the damaged tissue. An open surgical procedure removes the damaged tissue but carries the risk of invasive procedures, including damage to the surrounding healthy tissue and a lengthy recovery time with restricted activity.