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LSO First in State to Offer FAST Technique for Tendon-Related Injuries

Marjorie Delo, MD, Lakeshore Orthopaedics, was the first in the state of Wisconsin to perform an innovative new in-office procedure to treat tendon and soft tissue. The FAST Technique—Fasciotomy and Surgical Tenotomy—is a minimally invasive treatment option for tendon and soft tissue injuries, such as tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, jumper’s knee, Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis.

During the procedure, which is performed using local anesthetic to numb the area, ultrasound is used to identify the location of the scar tissue. Once found, a small probe is inserted into the damaged tendon. The probe delivers ultrasonic energy that cuts, breaks up and removes damaged tissue safely and quickly. The procedure is minimally invasive, using only a small adhesive bandage to cover the incision, and can be done in the office setting in as little as 15 minutes.

A primary care sports medicine physician, Dr. Delo is fellowship-trained in sports medicine and sees firsthand how patients can suffer from tendon injuries. “Previously, individuals with recurring tendon-related injuries did not have a good solution,” says Dr. Delo. “With the FAST Technique, I am able to intervene earlier in my patients’ care, change the nature of the disease, and get them back to their daily activities.”

She adds: “I am extremely pleased with the results I am seeing in my patients who have been treated with the FAST Technique. They have reported experiencing a nearly painless treatment, a quick recovery, and lasting pain relief. I believe this new option will become a definitive treatment that removes the source of tendon pain.”

FAST is performed using a local anesthetic to numb the area. Patients are awake and alert the entire time. During the treatment, conventional ultrasound imaging is used to identify the location of the scar tissue. Once located, a small instrument—the size of a toothpick—is inserted into the damaged tendon. The instrument delivers ultrasonic energy specifically designed to cut, break up, and remove damaged tissue safely and quickly, without disturbing the surrounding healthy tendon tissue.

Currently, more than 10 million people in this country suffer from severe pain due to tendon scar tissue, which limits their range of motion and keeps them from living an active life. Common treatment options such as rest, pain medication, cortisone injections, or physical therapy address the pain but not the damaged tissue, the source of tendon pain. An open surgical procedure removes the damaged tissue but carries the risk of invasive procedures, including damage to the surrounding healthy tissue and a lengthy recovery time with restricted activity.

Unlike conventional treatment methods, the FAST Technique replicates the goal of an open surgical procedure by removing the damaged tissue, but in a minimally invasive manner. The FAST Technique usually takes 15 minutes or less, requires only an adhesive bandage to close the micro-incision, and offers quick recovery time for patients.

“I am excited about being able to provide the most technologically advanced treatment option for tendon injuries here in Manitowoc County that truly benefits my patients,” says Dr. Delo. “It is profoundly rewarding to see them really enjoying their lives—without pain. FAST has made a world of difference for my patients.”

To find out more about this procedure, call Lakeshore Orthopaedics at 320.5241 or visit www.hfmhealth.org/FAST