Quad Cities, IL/IA

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No Running Joke Quad City orthopedic surgeon performs advanced, minimally invasive treatment to help people with debilitating he


Submitted by Mississippi Valley Surgery Center

Your alarm rings, and it’s time to wake up. You get out of bed and take your first step when—ouch—a stabbing pain shoots through the bottom of your foot near the heel.

Morning discomfort was a daily occurrence for Steve McIntyre, a banker at First Savanna Savings Bank in Savanna, Illinois. For more than a year, Steve suffered from plantar fasciitis in his left heel. While Steve tried to alleviate the symptoms through rest and stretching, the pain in his heel just wouldn’t go away. This was especially troubling to Steve because it was preventing him from his favorite fitness activity—running.

“I am pretty stubborn and limped on it for almost a year,” said Steve. “I took six months off from running, but it came right back when I tried to start up again. My foot was sore enough that it would stop me in my tracks. It was getting really frustrating!”

In order to get back to the running regime he loved, Steve knew he needed to seek a solution. He turned to Dr. Pam Davis of Foot & Ankle Specialists in Davenport for help.

“In many cases, plantar fasciitis can be treated with conservative treatment options like rest, stretching, pain medication, steroid injections, and physical therapy,” said Dr. Davis. “But for someone like Steve, who had been trying these approaches unsuccessfully for a long time, surgery may be necessary.”

Luckily, a new, minimally invasive outpatient procedure provided Steve with an alternative to traditional open surgery, which can come with lengthy recovery times.

An Innovative Alternative: Minimally Invasive Treatment for Tendon Injuries in the Foot
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the tendon-like tissue (plantar fascia) that starts at the bottom of the heel and connects the ball of your foot and toes. The inflammation can start spontaneously or as a result of trauma such as a hit, twist, or pull on the joints of the foot. It can also be caused by repetitive motion from exercise or activity, such as running or walking. The damaged tissue causes intense pain, which can dramatically affects people’s ability to function every day.

In the past, an open surgical procedure was the only option to remove the damaged tissue. This procedure can cause damage to the surrounding healthy tissue and can result in a lengthy recovery time and restricted activity.

Thankfully, there is now an alternative for ligament and tendon injuries of the foot and ankle called the Tenex Health TX System. Dr. Davis is one of the few doctors in the Quad Cities to offer this advanced outpatient procedure. She frequently performs the Tenex procedure at Mississippi Valley Surgery Center, an outpatient facility located at 3400 Dexter Court in Davenport.

How the Procedure Works
The Tenex procedure—medically known as Percutaneous Tenotomy and Fasciotomy—uses minimally invasive techniques to remove inflammation, the source of pain, quickly and safely.

“I use a local anesthetic to numb the area. Patients can choose whether they are awake and alert throughout the whole treatment or have medication and sleep through the procedure,” said Dr. Davis.

Using conventional ultrasound imaging, Dr. Davis pinpoints the exact location of the inflammation. Then, she uses the Tenex probe to precisely deliver ultrasonic energy to break up and remove inflamed tissue safely and quickly.

“Besides the discomfort of the anesthesia injection, I had no pain at all during the procedure,” said Steve. “I was back at my office that same day and was moving around shortly after that.”

In addition to the medical benefits of Tenex, the ability to perform the minimally invasive procedure at an outpatient facility such as Mississippi Valley Surgery Center also provides patients with other advantages. That’s because most people feel physically and emotionally more comfortable in an outpatient environment. The entire process—from registration through discharge—is more convenient and more personal than a hospital setting.

“Everyone at the Surgery Center was very nice and professional,” said Steve. “They got me in and out very quickly and were very efficient. That was nice because it meant I could go back to my life quicker.” Dr. Davis agrees.

“The Surgery Center is very convenient for the patient,” she said. “It’s also a very safe environment. There are a lot of safety measures in place, and high quality care is provided. It takes a special person to be on staff at the Surgery Center.”

Back in His Running Shoes
While the minimally invasive procedure accelerates overall recovery, patients need to practice patience before they are fully back on their feet.

“There’s a misconception about plantar fasciitis that if you have surgery, you’ll be ready to go the next day,” said Dr. Davis. “It takes some time for the body to fully heal. While there is no magic bullet fix, Tenex is a great improvement over what we had before. It’s a game changer for the treatment of these chronic conditions, like Steve had.”

Steve’s foot was in a walking boot for two weeks. Upon removal, he spent another four weeks taking things slowly and regularly stretching his foot. Recently, he began running more regularly again.

“I’m slowly working my way up to longer distances again,” he said. “I’ve run close to 300 miles already in 2016 and am thinking of possibly doing a half marathon later this year. The surgery has really been a game changer for me.” Dr. Davis is very happy with Steve’s results.

“I’ve been very pleased with the results I am seeing in my patients who have been treated with Tenex,” said Dr. Davis. “We’ve seen fast pain relief and a quick recovery. It’s quickly becoming the new option for a curative treatment that removes the source of tendon pain and allows the tendon to truly heal.”

To learn more about Foot & Ankle Specialists and Dr. Davis, visit www.MidwestFootSurgery.com.

To learn more about the Mississippi Valley Surgery Center and the many advanced minimally invasive treatments that lead to a speedy recovery, go to www.mvhealth.net, and like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MississippiValleySurgeryCenter.

Photo courtesy of Mississippi Valley Surgery Center