Tennis Elbow Patient Treated with Tenex Procedure (Percutaneous Tenotomy)

Denise Prent, 30

Tennis Elbow Patient Treated with Tenex Procedure (Percutaneous Tenotomy)

It’s hard to know what exactly caused my tennis elbow.  It’s probably a combination of a lot of things I do – working out, wake boarding, kite surfing and motorcycling! The pain just became increasingly more noticeable over time.

I had five or six steroid shots over the past year by another physician. While the first shot did relieve pain for four to five months, the second lasted maybe a month and a half and then eventually they were just pointless.  They prescribed steroid and anti-inflammatory pills, but those did not work very well either.  I tried bracing and a sling, isolating it, etc., but you reach a point where you can only do so much and know you need to go to the next step.  I finally reached that point and knew I needed a specialist.

Dr. Collins was recommended.

I did some research on him – the research he was doing and his work in general – and scheduled an appointment.

When I met with him he saw external and internal scarring from so many shots and knew additional shots would not do any good.  I assumed that he would do surgery.  I had done some research on the nonsurgical treatment options and asked him about PRP (platelet-rich plasma) and other things I had read about.  He then told me about a new procedure, Tenex.  I had no clue about Tenex.  It sounded similar to less invasive arthroscopy.  I thought it was super cool.

It was a new procedure and I would be one of the first patients to have it done there (Houston Methodist Hand & Upper Extremity Center).

The day of the procedure I was a little nervous.  I’ve had clammy hands and passed out with other minor procedures before. But, it was all done in the office which made it simple.  He started with the ultrasound to just look and show me everything first.  He showed me all aspects and explained each step of the procedure before injecting the lidocaine.  He then made a small cut in my arm and placed the probe to remove part of the damaged tendon.

I usually try not to have any expectations or think too much about what may or may not happen during a procedure, but it was surprisingly easy and went very well.

When I got home that evening, my elbow felt really good.  I came home with an arm brace, which looking back was probably not such a good idea.  It gave me too much freedom to over do it, which I did because it felt so good that I became over confident.  He reminded me to slow down and let it heal.  A sling would probably be better for someone like me!

He then gave me a splint for my wrist to further isolate the muscles, tendons and ligaments affecting the elbow. It placed necessary limitations on my wrist for a few weeks.

I was back to doing all the things I love really quickly.  I just went sailing and my elbow feels just fine!

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