Minimally Invasive Procedure Offers Patients New Treatment Option For Tendon-Related Injuries

June 12, 2012

Topic: Primary Care Sports Medicine

FAST Procedure, A Revolutionary Solution That Removes Tendon Pain at the Source

The Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine announces the offering of a new advanced treatment that quickly and safely removes the source of tendon pain. The procedure is performed by Joshua G. Hackel, M.D., primary care sports medicine physician. As one of the first doctors in the country trained to perform the revolutionary Focused Aspiration of Scar Tissue (FAST™) procedure, Dr. Hackel helps patients suffering from tendon and soft tissue injuries such as tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, jumper’s knee, Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. The new minimally invasive FAST procedure is based on advanced technology developed in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic.

Andy Moore, a resident from Lake City, Fla., was experiencing a lot of elbow pain, even while performing simple daily tasks such as shaking someone’s hand. After traditional treatment options failed to help, he traveled to the Andrews Institute.

“I traveled to the Andrews Institute for an appointment to determine if I was a good candidate for this new procedure and was quite surprised and pleased that I could schedule it for the following morning,” said Moore. “Dr. Hackel said my elbow tendon was ‘shredded’ but today, it feels as good as new. The entire experience was fantastic and I am thrilled at the success of this treatment and how it helped me get back to a normal life.”

The procedure is performed using a local anesthetic, allowing patients to remain awake and alert the entire time. Using ultrasound imaging, the scar tissue is identified and a small instrument about the size of a toothpick is inserted into the damaged tendon. Ultrasonic energy then cuts, breaks up and removes the damaged tissue, without disturbing the surrounding healthy tendon tissue. The procedure typically takes about 15 minutes or less, requires only an adhesive bandage to close the microincision, and offers quick recovery time for patients.

“Traditional treatment options for tendon-related injuries do not include a quick recovery,” said Dr. Hackel. “With the FAST procedure, I am able to intervene earlier in my patients’ care, change the nature of the disease, and get them back to the activities they love much faster than ever before possible.”

Currently, more than 10 million people across the country suffer from severe pain due to tendon scar tissue, which limits their range of motion and keeps them from an active lifestyle. Previously, the gold standard in treatment options included a combination of rest, pain medication, cortisone injections, and/or physical therapy to address the pain but not the source of pain, the damaged tissue. 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 procedure replicates the goal of an open surgical procedure by removing the damaged tissue, but in a minimally invasive manner.

To learn more about the Andrews Institute, Dr. Joshua Hackel or the FAST procedure, or to schedule an appointment, go online to or call 850.916.8700.

FAST Procedure, New Treatment For Tendon Pain
FAST Procedure, A Revolutionary Solution That Removes Tendon Pain at the Source

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