Posted on January 23, 2012 at 3:35 PM
Monday, Jan 23 at 5:11 PM
SAN ANTONIO -- A new surgical procedure is designed to be no more invasive than a simple injection. It’s a way for doctors to cure a painful, nagging condition known as tennis elbow.
58-year-old Bruce Roser of San Antonio doesn’t play tennis, but repeated use of his elbow has wreaked havoc on his tendons causing tennis elbow.
“For the last six, seven years, it’s been off and on, off and on,” Roser explained. “It will come. It will go. But for the last couple of months, anytime I lift up anything I’ll get a stabbing pain. It’s annoying. It’s painful at times.”
Roser opted for a new procedure called FAST (focused aspiration of soft tissue). Working through a tiny cut, the doctor inserts a hollow probe. Using ultrasound guidance and ultrasonic energy, he zaps the dead tendon tissue which is liquefied and sucked out.
This speeds the body’s healing process.
“It appears as though patients get an immediate relief of pain that continues to improve for up to three months,” Dr. Bernard Morrey, an orthopedic surgeon, said. Roser’s procedure took place at UT Medicine San Antonio at the MARC Day Surgery Center.
The whole procedure is conducted under a local anesthetic and takes about 15 minutes.
Roser can’t wait to get back to golfing. “I’m looking forward to playing again,” he commented. “That would be nice.”
“It’s safe, well-tolerated, rapid recovery and effective based on what we know so far today,” Morrey added.
Tennis elbow accounts for about two million doctor visits a year in America. Some of these patients may find speedier relief with this new method which was approved in the fall of 2011.