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New Outpatient Treatment for Tendonitis Helps Electrician Get Back to Work — and Play — Faster


As an electrician, Greg McKinney uses his body all the time. From hammering nails to reaching above his head to install light fixtures, the 54-year-old from Donahue, Iowa, is constantly moving. So when Greg started experiencing shoulder and elbow pain that limited his range of motion, he was understandably concerned.

“It wasn’t that I couldn’t do certain things … I just had a lot of pain when I did them,” Greg said. “In addition to the physical work I do as an electrician, the pain was impacting my hobby — archery.” 

When conservative treatments were no longer enough, Greg turned to Dr. Tyson Cobb to get back to being comfortable at work, and enjoying his archery.

“I actually had two people recommend Dr. Cobb to me,” said Greg. “The chiropractor I was working with at the time suggested him, and a friend of mine also did. So when aspirin, occasional steroid treatments, physical therapy, and the chiropractor didn’t help, I turned to Dr. Cobb.”

Following a thorough examination, Dr. Cobb determined Greg was a candidate for a new minimally invasive procedure that would relieve both his shoulder, and his elbow pain, and allow him to get back to work — and archery — faster.

New, Less Invasive Procedure Speeds Up Recovery Time 
The shoulder joint is one of the most moveable joints in the body, which makes it more prone to injury.

Common causes of shoulder pain are related to conditions such as frozen shoulder (inability to fully move shoulder due to
thickening of the capsule surrounding the joint), rotator cuff tear (shoulder pain from a torn muscle tendon that attaches to the shoulder joint), arthritis (loss of the joint lining), shoulder instability (the ball is not sitting properly in the socket), and other injuries, due to overuse and/or trauma.

Greg’s shoulder showed signs of tendonitis, as well as a partial rotator cuff tear, along with other injuries. His elbow was just as bad. 
“My elbow would throb when I went to bed at night,” said Greg.  Thankfully, Dr. Cobb is one of the few surgeons locally who offers an advanced outpatient treatment option for tendon injuries in the shoulder and elbow, called the Tenex Health TX System. Tenex is perfect for people like Greg, whose injuries have not responded to more conservative approaches.

How the Procedure Works
The Tenex procedure technique uses minimally invasive techniques to remove the source of tendon pain quickly and safely.

Using conventional ultrasound imaging, Dr. Cobb identified the location of the damaged tendon tissue, and then delivered ultrasonic energy to the spot specifically designed to break up and remove damaged tissue safely and quickly. This allows the tendon to heal and eliminates the pain.

“Patients are awake throughout the entire treatment,” said Dr. Cobb. “We only use a local anesthetic to numb the area. That’s a big difference to the open surgical technique that requires anesthesia, and forces the surgeon operating to remove the entire diseased tendon, and reattach the healthy tendon back to the bone.”

In addition to the medical benefits of Tenex, the ability to perform the minimally invasive procedure at an outpatient facility also provides patients with other advantages.

“It’s not uncommon for patients to feel more comfortable in an outpatient setting,” Dr. Cobb said. “It’s a very convenient process for the patient, and much more personal than a hospital setting. “

Back to Work and Fun — Pain Free
As opposed to traditional open surgery, recovery time for a Tenex procedure is very fast. According to Greg, the recovery has been remarkable. He is back at work, and enjoying archery with his friends on a weekly basis — completely pain-free.

“I’ve had great results and my whole experience was really good,” said Greg. “I don’t have any limited mobility. I don’t have any pain, and I don’t have to take any aspirin anymore. I would definitely recommend this procedure to anyone that has shoulder or elbow pain. It has exceeded my expectations.”

Dr. Cobb is equally pleased with the results.

“People who suffer from this type of tendon pain should talk to their physicians about this type of minimally invasive procedure,” said Dr. Cobb. “It’s quickly becoming the procedure of choice for patients who don’t respond to conventional treatment, which involves rest, medication, and physical therapy.”

To learn more about Orthopaedic Specialists and Dr. Cobb, visit www.osquadcities.com/. To learn more about the Mississippi Valley Surgery Center, go to www.mvhealth.net and like them on Facebook at facebook.com/MississippiValleySurgeryCenter.