Tendinopathy & PNT
Improving Treatment for Tendon Injury
Almost 40 million individuals in the United States suffer from tendinopathy, a chronic injury to a tendon. However, treatments options for tendinopathy are limited. In general, patients use ice, rest, pain relievers and injections, physical therapy, surgery or other topical treatments to combat their symptoms. All of these treatments are incomplete in either their treatment success or their cost efficiency. However, Emory Researcher Kenneth Mautner, MD and his colleagues from GA Tech Jonathan Shaw, Shawna Hagen, Luka Grujic, and Brett Rodgers; just developed the Automated Percutaneous Needle Tenotomy Instrument, which could provide a quicker, more effective, and more affordable treatment option for patients with tendinopathy.
The Automated Percutaneous Needle Tenotomy instrument is a clinical mechanism that punctuates the tendon with a small needle causing a controlled acute injury, which initiates healing and growth of new, healthy tendon. The use of needles to aggravate injured tendons is an existing method of treatment for tendinopathy though this is currently done with a traditional needle or with a percutaneous procedure done in a surgical center. The Automated Percutaneous Needle Tenotomy Instrument would allow procedures to be conducted outside a surgical center, in the offices of orthopedic physicians, greatly reducing treatment cost.
A prototype of the Automated Percutaneous Needle Tenotomy instrument has already been developed and tested on cadavers with promising results. Initial tests predict that this tool will produce faster recovery times for chronic tendon pain, than current procedures and treatments. Hyeon (Sean) Kim, licensing associate with the Office of Technology Transfer, is optimistic for the future application of this technology. “I don’t foresee any obstacles for transitioning this mechanism into a clinical setting. The biomechanics of this procedure are already proven to be effective, this instrument just increases the accuracy, efficiency, and reliability of the treatment.”
“This is only the beginning. This is the first technological step towards the development of more minimally invasive ultrasound- guided in-office treatments.” said one of the PNT instrument inventors, Ken Mautner. Development and use of technologies like the Percutaneous Needle Tenotomy instrument will change the way that orthopedic injuries are treated. For example, Mauter is interested in doing further research to see if similar instruments could be used to perform nerve release procedures in office or even create the opportunity to deliver treatments to areas of the body that could not previously be treated on outside of a surgical setting. These technologies have the potential to move the world into a new era of cheaper and more effective orthopedic healthcare.
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