Health Headlines: TENEX treatment

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Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 7:00 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Health experts list physical activity as one of the top, if not the most important factor, for promoting healthy aging. But for many Americans, injuries and chronic pain keep them from doing what they love.

Recovery from traditional surgery may take weeks or months, but for some, a device designed to gently treat injured tendons may make the difference.

62-year-old Sherry Bellomo says she’s ridden a bike at home or on the road for as long as she can remember, “It was very, very challenging. I rode pretty far and pretty fast. And I just loved everything about it.”

She would often go for 30 or 40-mile rides, usually at a 20 mph pace, but three years ago Bellomo started developing extreme pain in her legs.

“I couldn’t sit on my bike. 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, she had another surgery to fix a torn hamstring.

But the pain came back.

Eventually, Bellomo was referred to orthopedic specialist Dr. Brian Shiple who says 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 a sciatica from your back.”

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.”

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

Bellow says the pain went away shortly after the procedure. And after six weeks of recovery time, she’s feeling fit, and hoping to stay that way, “I feel like I have my life back.”

The recovery time for the TENEX treatment is about four to six weeks, although it may take longer for some patients. The procedure takes about an hour and is done in a doctor’s office with local anesthesia.