FAST Procedure

fast procedure Specialists Texas

For athletes and those who live an active life, there’s nothing better than enjoying their favorite sport or sports year round. That is, until tendon pain starts to strike. Most often the result of repetitive movements or a traumatic event, tendon pain can cause a person to sit on the sidelines. Fortunately, the Texas Pain Care team, specialists in Texas, offers the FAST Procedure in Sugar Land, Missouri City, and Houston areas. This minimally-invasive option helps both athletes and non-athletes escape pain and return to an active lifestyle, avoiding surgery.

What is Tendon Pain?

Tendon pain is most often due to an injury. Types of injuries to the joint include a twist, hit, or any repetitive motion that causes trauma. This is why most athletes suffer from tendon pain. Think about a tennis player who hits tennis balls for hours at a time, or a golfer who swings a golf club hundreds of times during practice and games. Over time, scar tissue builds up as the tendon wears down. This damaged tendon can cause significant pain that stops most people from exercising that joint, thereby not enjoying their active lifestyle. Even with a reduction of exercise or movement, the pain will likely get worse over time. 

The most common injuries and tendon and soft tissue injuries. These include: 

On top of the feeling of pain, patients find that they cannot participate in their favorite sport(s), which reduces their quality of life. 

What’s the Best Way to Treat Tendon Pain?

Historically the best options for treating tendon pain have offered either temporary pain relief or invasive surgical options. These could include at-home methods, such as RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation), pain medications, and participating in a physical therapy regimen. Injections of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and steroids also can provide relief, especially when more conservative methods don’t fully resolve the feelings of pain. In severe cases of pain, surgical intervention might be recommended, but this option can be accompanied with risks and side effects, as well as considerable periods of recovery. Now, pain management specialists are able to offer their patients who are suffering from tendon pain a minimally-invasive option known as the FAST Procedure.

What is the FAST Procedure?

The FAST Procedure, which stands for Focused Aspiration of Scar Tissue, is a minimally-invasive treatment that is designed to remove tendon scar tissue, which allows patients to quickly and comfortably resume their sports endeavors and active lifestyles. 

With this technology, providers are able to identify, debride, emulsify, and aspirate pain-causing damaged tissues in tendons and other soft tissue structures of the foot, elbow, ankle and shoulder, all without damaging the surrounding healthy tissue. 

The reason the FAST Procedure is so beneficial is that ultrasound imaging is used to identify the exact scar tissue and a small instrument is used to remove the soft tissue. To date, the FAST Procedure is the most technologically advanced option for treating injuries related to tendon and soft tissue pain. 

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What Does the FAST Procedure Involve?

The FAST Procedure is a minimally-invasive treatment option that is performed as an out-patient procedure, meaning that the patient can return home the same day. What makes the FAST Procedure so technologically-advanced is that it utilizes the TX1™ Tissue Removal System. This is a portable, self-contained device that offers the provider the opportunity for precise removal of diseased tendon tissue. It has proven effective for use in the shoulder, foot, ankle and knee. The TX1™ System removes scar tissue by using ultrasonic energy that is able to emulsify the scar tissue, and then uses an aspirator to remove soft tissue, all without damaging the surrounding healthy tissue. 

Once the patient is comfortable, the provider will clean the skin and use a local anesthetic to numb the area. An ultrasound is used to identify the exact area of the joint where there is scar tissue buildup. A small incision is made and the provider inserts a micro tip, which is part of the advanced TX1™ Tissue Removal System. A sterile fluid is then injected via the micro tip, and a hollow needle, also located in the micro tip, pulls out the fluid as well as the emulsified scar tissue. 

The entire procedure takes about 20 minutes and most patients experience immediate relief of their tendon pain symptoms. If any discomfort is experienced, the patient could take over-the-counter pain medications, as prescribed by their doctor. 

Patients are instructed to avoid any weight-bearing activities for two weeks after the surgery, but then can enjoy their athletics and sports practices afterward, comfortably and free of pain. 

What are the Benefits of the FAST Procedure?

There are several benefits of the FAST Procedure, which include: 

Overall, the FAST Procedure offers patients a safe and effective option for relieving pain when compared with traditional surgical methods. It is an innovative way to help patients who are suffering from tendon and soft tissue pain who would like to resume their active lifestyle without having to rely on pain medications or long-term physical therapy. 

If you are living with tendon pain that is causing you to miss out on your favorite activities, we’d love to tell you more about the FAST Procedure. The goal is to offer our family of patients therapies that help them not only allow them to have an improved quality of life, but also options that both fit within their lifestyle and yield safe and effective outcomes. Please schedule an appointment with the Texas Pain Care team in the Sugar Land, Missouri City and Houston areas so that we can answer your questions and help you find the best solutions to remedy your tendon pain in your shoulder, elbow, ankle, knee and foot. 

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