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FAST Technique For Heel Pain

Do you have chronic pain in your Achilles tendon or your arch? Have you been diagnosed with chronic tendinitis or tendinosis in your foot? If so, you may want to ask us about the FAST Technique.

heel pain treatment

FAST, short for Focused Aspiration of Soft Tissue, is minimally invasive and designed to remove tendon scar tissue quickly and safely, without disturbing your surrounding healthy tendon tissue. The FAST Technique has been found to be 95% effective in eliminating chronic pain resulting from tendinitis or tendinosis.

In the past, treatment for these conditions would start with ice, rest, elevation, and over the counter pain medications. If pain continued, the next step might have been a shot of hydrocortisone in the affected area and physical therapy. If this failed to resolve the pain, open surgery may have been recommended to remove the damaged tendon.

The FAST Technique, developed in association with the Mayo Clinic, is an outpatient procedure which takes less than 15 minutes to perform. With FAST, only a small incision is made, through which your podiatric surgeon removes the section of tendon which is causing your pain. The tiny opening is then closed using only a Band-Aid® adhesive bandage—no sutures or stitches are needed.

 

PA Foot and Ankle Associates stands on the cutting edge of sports medicine and we're very excited to offer the FAST Technique to relieve heel pain and arch pain caused by these conditions.

 

How the FAST Technique works

With FAST, your podiatric surgeon makes a small incision in the foot and inserts a small instrument. Using ultrasound imaging, the same imaging used to visualize babies in the womb, he can then view the damaged tendon. When the damaged area is identified, the FAST instrument is inserted and delivers ultrasonic energy specifically designed to break up and remove the damaged tissue safely and quickly, without disturbing the surrounding healthy tendon.

How long does FAST take?

The procedure takes less than 15 minutes.

Is anesthesia required?

Only local anesthesia is administered. You will be awake during the procedure.

What are the advantages of FAST?

  • outpatient procedure-you go home the same day
  • quick relief from pain – some patients report being pain free in as little as 2-3 days, but some may take as long as 4 weeks
  • replicates what's done in open surgery, but is minimally invasive
  • no anesthesia is required
  • fast recovery time
  • accelerated healing
  • most patients need no physical rehabilitation

What can I expect after the FAST Technique?

After the FAST procedure, you will be permitted to go home. If you feel any discomfort, you can take an over-the-counter pain medication. Your podiatric surgeon will provide specific instructions based on your condition, work, and lifestyle. In most cases, you will not need physical therapy or prolonged use of medications before resuming normal activities after 1-2 weeks.