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Tenex – A Minimally Invasive Treatment for Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is not limited to tennis players. This painful condition can result from any activity that involves repeated contractions of the forearm muscles while the wrist is held in a locked position. Over time, this overuse can strain and tear the tendon that attaches to the bony prominence on the outer elbow. As scar tissue forms around the site of the injury, chronic tendon pain (tendinopathy) can develop. If left untreated, tendinopathy may lead to joint instability.

Because the symptoms of tennis elbow can be similar to those produced by a neurological issue, such as radial tunnel syndrome, it is important to see a physician for a proper diagnosis before seeking treatment. Initially, tennis elbow may be addressed with a period of rest followed by stretching and strengthening exercises, a counterforce brace, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or cortisone injections. Surgery may be considered to address persistent pain that does not respond to several months of conservative treatment.

Severe tendinopathy can be treated with Tenex

As a minimally invasive alternative to traditional surgery, Tenex can address chronic tennis elbow and other forms of tendinopathy. When performing a Tenex procedure, a surgeon utilizes ultrasound technology in two ways:

A Tenex surgical tool

This pen-like device, which contains a needle within a needle, can address damaged tissue without disrupting surrounding healthy tissue. Moving back and forth like a tiny jackhammer, the inner needle creates an ultrasonic wave of energy to break up scar tissue. Meanwhile, a saline flushing system within the outer needle suctions away the resulting debris.


While performing a Tenex procedure, a surgeon is guided by conventional ultrasound imaging, which uses high-frequency sound waves to capture images of internal structures. These images, which are displayed on a monitor in real time, can help the surgeon identify damaged tissue and operate with a high level of precision.

Tenex requires specialized expertise. In addition to the skill and dexterity required to utilize a Tenex tool, the surgeon must be able to distinguish scar tissue from healthy tendon tissue using ultrasound guidance.

If you recently sustained an elbow injury or are concerned about chronic elbow pain, you can turn to the renowned sports medicine specialists at Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, TX, for expert care. In addition to Tenex, we provide a full range of conservative and surgical treatment options for tendinopathy and other musculoskeletal conditions. To learn more or schedule an appointment, contact Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, Texas, today.

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