When it comes to something as important as tendon repair, it can be hard to tell what treatment route to take. This is especially true when newer, branded procedures start to appear that don’t have a lot of research behind them.
One of these is Tenex.
Tenex is a branded procedure that was developed by Tenex Health in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic. Tenex works by using minimally invasive ultrasonic technology to break down damaged tissue so that it can be removed.
There aren’t many studies on the effectiveness of Tenex, and much of the information available on it is branded content. Read on to learn more about the Tenex procedure, what it’s used for, and its pros and cons.
Tenex is an outpatient procedure. That means that you can return home after it’s done.
Here’s what to expect during the procedure:
- Ultrasound imaging is used before the procedure to visualize the affected area. During the procedure, your doctor uses this imaging technique to get a continuous view of the damaged tendon as they work.
- The doctor cleans and numbs the skin of the area. When this is done, they’ll make a tiny incision.
- A small probe is inserted into the incision. The needle-like tip of this probe vibrates very rapidly, producing ultrasonic energy. This energy causes the damaged tissue to break down, while healthy tissue remains intact.
- As damaged tissue breaks down, a system within the probe works to remove it from your body.
- When all of the damaged tissue has been removed, the probe is removed. Your doctor then closes the incision and covers it with a bandage.
Recovery from the Tenex procedure is short, typically taking between 4 and 6 weeks. Your doctor may also recommend physical therapy as a part of your recovery.
Tenex is used to treat tendon pain. Pain in the tendon typically develops when scar tissue forms due to things like injury, overuse, or aging. This can lead to symptoms like pain, inflammation, and a reduced range of motion.
Your doctor may recommend a procedure like Tenex if you have tendon pain that hasn’t be relieved through more conservative means like medications, physical therapy, or corticosteroid injections.
Some examples of the conditions that Tenex can be used to treat include:
- epicondylitis, which can include conditions like tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow
- rotator cuff tendinitis, which is also called swimmer’s shoulder or pitcher’s shoulder
- patellar tendinitis (jumper’s knee)
- Achille’s tendinitis
- plantar fasciitis
- gluteal tendinopathy
Overall, the scientific literature on Tenex is still scarce. Much of what’s out there involves case studies or case series with a small number of participants. For example, one small study found that Tenex was effective for treating
Other studies have found that Tenex can treat
Additionally, there’s little research on how effective Tenex is compared to other surgeries or procedures that address tendon pain. So far, research indicates that results may be comparable to other types of interventions:
2019 studycompared the Tenex procedure to platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections in 62 people with epicondylitis. Although an improvement was seen after both procedures, there was no statistically significant difference between Tenex and PRP.
2020 studylooked at the outcome of Tenex compared to tendon repair surgery in 33 people with tendinosis. Participants reported a large improvement after three to six months for both procedures, but no statistically significant difference between them was observed.
While several small studies have found it to be effective for treating various types of tendon pain, larger-scale controlled clinical trials are needed to assess Tenex’s overall effectiveness compared to other interventions.
Here are some of the pros and cons associated with the Tenex procedure.
Some of the benefits of the Tenex procedure are that it:
- can ease tendon pain through the removal of damaged tissue
- takes less time than other types of surgeries or procedures
- causes little to no scarring due to the small incision size
- has a shorter recovery time compared to other types of surgeries or procedures
- has less risk of complications than more-invasive surgeries that require general anesthesia
may cost lessthan other surgeries or procedures
A few of the drawbacks of the Tenex procedure are that:
- Large-scale clinical trials haven’t yet been performed into the overall effectiveness of Tenex compared to other procedures or surgeries.
- It may not be effective for severe tendon tears or damage.
- The risk of complications
may be similarto other interventions for some tendon conditions, such as those involving the Achilles tendon.
- There is a lack of data for the effectiveness of Tenex long-term.
Tenex is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that uses ultrasonic technology to break up and remove damaged tissue. It’s used to treat tendon pain that hasn’t been eased through more conservative care.
Much of the available information on Tenex is branded content. While research into its effectiveness is very promising, it’s currently limited to smaller studies, or studies funded by Tenex Health.
Larger trials will be needed to further examine the effectiveness of Tenex in comparison to other interventions.