Your Health: Finding a new way to treat tendon injuries

Recovery from traditional surgery may take weeks or months, but a device designed to treat injured tendons gently may make the difference for some.
Recovery from traditional surgery may take weeks or even months. Now a device designed to gently treat injured tendons may make a difference.
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 11:59 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - For many Americans, injuries and chronic pain may keep them from doing what they love. Recovery from traditional surgery may take weeks or months, but a device designed to treat injured tendons gently may make the difference for some.

Sherry Bellomo has ridden a bike at home or on the road for as long as she can remember

“It was very, very challenging,” says Bellomo, 62. “I rode pretty far and pretty fast and I just loved everything about it.”

Those rides would go for 30 or 40 miles, often at a 20-mile-an-hour pace. But three years ago, Bellomo started developing extreme pain in her legs.

“I couldn’t sit on my bike,” she said. “I couldn’t sit in a car, couldn’t sit on a plane.”

When medications didn’t work, doctors performed surgery to make room for an impinged nerve. Then another surgery to fix a torn hamstring.

But when the pain came back, Bellomo was referred to an orthopedic specialist, Dr. Brian Shiple. He discovered scar tissue had trapped the nerve near her hamstring.

“That caused tethering and stretching of the nerve and caused leg pain much like you would get with sciatica from your back,” said Dr. Shiple.

Dr. Shiple recommended a procedure called Tenex. Using ultrasound guidance, he directed a needle through a tiny incision into the scarred area.

“We inject fluid and use lots of hydrostatic pressure coming out of the needle to separate the scar tissue from the nerve,” Dr. Shiple explains.

Doctors use the minimally invasive procedure to treat other painful conditions like tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, or Achilles tendinitis.

For Bellomo, the pain went away shortly after the procedure. After six weeks of recovery time, she’s feeling fit, and hoping to stay that way.

“I feel like I have my life back,” she says.

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