PHILADELPHIA (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Health experts list physical activity as one of the top, if not the top factor, for promoting healthy aging.
But for many Americans, injuries and chronic pain may 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.
Sherry Bellomo, 62, has 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 said.
Bellomo would go in 30- or 40-mile rides, often at a 20 mile-an-hour pace. But three years ago, she 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.” Bellomo said.
When medications didn’t work, doctors performed surgery to make room for an impinged nerve. Then another surgery to fix a torn hamstring. But the pain came back.
Bellomo was referred to orthopedic specialist, Dr. Brian Shiple, who 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.” said Shiple, DO at The Center for Sports Medicine and Wellness.
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.” Shiple said.
Doctors use the minimally invasive procedure to treat other painful conditions like tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, or Achilles tendinitis.
For Bellomo, the pain went away shortly after the procedure. After six weeks of recovery time, she’s feeling fit, and hoping to stay that way.
“I feel like i have my life back,” she said.
The recovery time for the Tenex procedure 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 doctors office with local anesthesia.