Percutaneous needle tenotomy is the use of a needle to make small holes in a tendon through the skin. Repeated needlesticks can break up scar tissue and cause bleeding in a tendon, prompting the inflammatory cascade and helping the body’s own cells to begin rebuilding the tendon.

Tenotomy is a quick and simple procedure performed on an outpatient basis. When used with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, tenotomy can be an effective treatment for:

  • Tennis elbow
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Rotator cuff low-grade partial thickness tear
  • Achilles tendon low grade partial thickness tear

Tenotomy helps jump-start the body’s own healing process, to speed healing and recovery from an injury or debilitating condition. In a study published in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic researchers reported that the combination of tenotomy and PRP injections produced significant improvement in patients with long-standing tendon injuries.

Our subspecialized musculoskeletal imaging physicians use ultrasound imaging to precisely guide a needle to the damaged tendon to perform a tenotomy. The needle pricks transform a nonhealing, degenerative injury into an acute injury that has the potential to heal. Maximum benefits from tenotomy and PRP occur within the first four months after a treatment.

Before Your Treatment

Tenotomy and PRP treatment requires you to stay off nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for two weeks before and after treatment.

During Your Treatment

Local anesthesia with lidocaine will be used near the damaged or injured tendon. Conscious sedation can be used if needed.

After Your Treatment

You should rest for one week after your treatment, followed by one week of light stretching. You will start physical therapy two weeks after the procedure.

For more information or to schedule an appointment at the Musculoskeletal Clinic, please call 310-423-8000.