woman beach volleyballAthletes are looking for non-surgical solutions to pain and finding answers in Watchung, New Jersey!

Common problems seen in runners and court based athletes treated at Performance Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine are injuries involving the patellar tendon. This injury typically responds very well to conservative treatment options but can also become a stubborn ailment that leaves the patient frustrated and the treating clinicians looking deeper for more answers. Fortunately thanks to new technology from the MayoClinic  and Tenex Health TX® offers minimally invasive solutions that are helping patients get better, faster!

The patellar tendon is made up of a thick fibrous tissue that runs from the knee cap to the shin bone and is extremely strong. Its main function is primarily responsible for allowing the quadriceps muscle group to extend the leg outward. The patellar tendon also allows us to propel forward and upward when jumping and aids in stabilization while standing. There are tremendous forces generated as well as transferred through this tendon, which leaves it susceptible to chronic overuse injuries that happen as the tendon demand increases. These forces over time, lead to inflammation and small tears which can develop scar tissue. Scar tissue formation becomes a problem in athletes due to the build up of adhesions throughout the patellar tendon. Factors that contribute to this condition include poor biomechanics with prolonged activities such as running and sports that involve multi directional movements. The clinical diagnosis of patellar tendonitis is best diagnosed through a thorough history and physical examination. Diagnostic ultrasound may also be performed which aids in evaluation of the underlying etiology of this condition.

Most cases of patellar tendonitis are best managed with anti-inflammatories, physical therapy and a good home exercise plan. One muscle particularly associated with this injury is the Vastus medialis oblique (VMO). This muscle usually will demonstrate significant weakness and does very well with strengthening exercise with physical rehabilitation. The use of a knee brace and kinesio taping is often used to help reduce strain placed on the tendon and to help correct any alignment issues of the patella. Until recently, medical options were limited for patients suffering with chronic patellar tendonitis.  Patients who have failed conservative treatment options can now undergo non- surgical solutions for chronic tendon conditions with Tenex Health TX®.

The Tenex Health TX® procedure includes the use of ultrasound guided imaging which allows the doctor to identify the specific portion of the damaged and painful scar tissue within the tendon. The physician then creates a micro-incision at the site of injury and uses the TX MicroTip®. This tool is the size of a toothpick and uses high frequency ultrasonic energy to break up and remove damaged tissue, leaving the healthy tendon intact.

The advantages of this Tenex Health TX® over traditional surgery include:

  • Fast pain relief
  • Quick return to activity
  • Minimally invasive, not open surgery
  • No sutures or stitches
  • Local anesthetic used instead of general anesthesia

If you have questions or find yourself suffering from chronic patellar tendonitis, or if you know someone that may be suffering, please feel free to contact one of our patient care coordinators at 908-754-1960 or you may contact us online.

About the Authors:

Joseph Mejia D.O., F.A.A.P.M.& R, is a graduate of University of Michigan and West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. He is Board Certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine. Dr. Mejia received his Fellowship Training in Interventional Pain Management from University of Medicine and Dentistry. He has advanced training in Regenerative Medicine and is the Medical Director and Partner of Performance Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine.

Vincent J. Diana D.C. is a graduate of New York Chiropractic College. He is a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician with licenses held in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Dr. Diana is a Chiropractic Physician at Performance Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine.