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TOPAZ For Heel Pain Dr. Quinn Fauria

TOPAZ for Heel Pain

Frequent overuse and tendon tears can lead to foot conditions, such as chronic Achilles tendonitis and chronic plantar fasciitis. Both of these conditions can make it difficult to walk and carry out normal daily movements. For patients not responding well to conservative treatments like the use of anti-inflammatory medications, injections, icing, orthotics, therapeutic exercises, and the modification of “trigger” activities, TOPAZ treatment may provide the desired relief.

What Is It?

TOPAZ MicroDebrider is a minimally invasive technique meant for use on patients who haven’t had success with traditional treatments for chronic heel pain. The TOPAZ procedure is often recommended for foot or heel pain stemming from plantar fasciitis, tendon strain, and similar conditions involving these thick tissues. It’s an outpatient procedure that usually takes about 20 minutes to perform.

How Does It Work?

A sedation anesthetic is sometimes administered prior to performing the actual procedure, although some patients do well with a local or light general anesthetic. Involving coblation technology that uses radiofrequency energy (without heat) to shrink and remove soft tissues, the treatment only requires small incisions.

The affected area of the tendon is treated with a small needle-like instrument called a TOPAZ wand. During the treatment, the wand is inserted briefly into multiple spots in a grid pattern. Radiofrequency waves cause trauma to scar tissue that hasn’t properly healed, resulting in increased blood flow back to the affected area. The device also removes small amounts of tissue that may be triggering pain or irritating nearby nerves.

Recovery and Follow-Up Care

Because the procedure is not invasive and doesn’t involve major stress to the heel, recovery from the minimally invasive heel pain treatment is much faster than with traditional surgery. Patients can often get back to light activities and movements within a few days after the procedure. Discomfort will gradually decrease within a week or two. When patients have been properly evaluated to determine the specific cause of their heel pain, the technique generally has a high success rate (approximately 80 percent). Full recovery typically takes 2-3 months.

TOPAZ has been extensively researched for more than a decade. The procedure has been performed over 5 million times. Making an effort to avoid excessive pressure on the heel, wearing comfortable shoes, and stretching the tendon the procedure was performed on before engaging in strenuous activities like jogging or running can increase the odds of enjoying long-term relief following treatment.

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