Classic black heels. Stylish sandals. Beautiful booties. For self-proclaimed shoe fanatic, LuAnn Durci, of Le Claire, Iowa, shoes are a must-have fashion accessory. That’s why her diagnosis of plantar fasciitis in both feet was very upsetting.
Plantar fasciitis causes stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot. No matter how much LuAnn wanted to hang on to her heels, sandals, and booties, the pain was just too much. As a result, she traded in stylish footwear for orthopedic shoes with arch support.
“After a while, even the orthopedic shoes were painful,” said LuAnn. “Every single step would hurt.”
She turned to Dr. Pam Davis, of Foot & Ankle Specialists, in Davenport, for help. Dr. Davis — who is known as The Foot & Ankle MD — was able to treat her left foot with a steroid shot.
The right foot, however, proved to be more difficult. Conservative treatment options like rest, stretching, pain medication, steroid injections, and physical therapy weren’t going to be enough.
Luckily, a new, minimally invasive outpatient procedure provided LuAnn with an alternative to traditional open surgery, which comes with lengthy recovery times.
An Innovative Alternative: Minimally Invasive Treatment for Tendon Injuries in the Foot
Plantar fasciitis is caused by damage to the tendon by trauma from a hit, twist, or pull on the joint. It can also be caused by repetitive motion from overuse in work, exercise, or activity. The damaged tissue causes intense pain, which 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 may cause damage to the surrounding healthy tissue, and results in a lengthy recovery time, and restricted activity.
Thankfully, there is now an alternative for Quad-City residents.
Dr. Davis is one of the few specially trained doctors in the Quad Cities to offer an advanced outpatient treatment option for tendon injuries of the foot and ankle, called the Tenex Health TX System. Tenex is perfect for people like LuAnn, whose injuries have not responded to the more conservative approaches.
How the Procedure Works
Dr. Davis frequently performs the Tenex procedure — medically known as Percutaneous Tenotomy and Fasciotomy — which uses minimally invasive techniques to remove the source of tendon pain quickly and safely.
“I use a local anesthetic to numb the area, and patients are awake and alert throughout the whole treatment,” said Dr. Davis.
Using conventional ultrasound imaging, Dr. Davis identifies the location of the damaged tendon tissue, and then delivers ultrasonic energy to the spot specifically designed to break up and remove damaged tissue safely and quickly, allowing the tendon to heal, and eliminating the pain.
“I was back home by the afternoon with minor pain, and only a stitch or two in my foot,” LuAnn said. “I had to keep it elevated, but I wasn’t even on pain meds … just Tylenol.”
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. That’s because most people feel physically and emotionally more comfortable in an outpatient environment. The entire process — from registration through discharge — is much more convenient, and more personal, than a hospital setting.
Back on Her Feet
In just two weeks, LuAnn returned to Dr. Davis’ office to have her stitches removed.
“It just gradually improved,” she said. “Today, I’m on the treadmill walking and jogging, and can wear any shoe imaginable.”
Dr. Davis echoes these sentiments. “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 Midwest Foot & Ankle Specialists, and Dr. Davis, visit www.MidwestFootSurgery.com. To learn more about the Mississippi Valley Surgery Center, go to www.mvhealth.net and like them on Facebook at facebook.com/MississippiValleySurgeryCenter.
Photo credit: Lighthaunter