Dr. Bright McConnell Performs First FAST Procedure in Charleston


Local Orthopedic Surgeon performs First FAST Procedure in Charleston

FAST a new treatment option for tendon related injuries

Dr. Bright McConnell, III of Charleston Sports Medicine is the FIRST surgeon to perform the FAST procedure in Charleston.  Performed this week at Roper’s Mt. Pleasant Hospital, this procedure is a new advanced treatment that quickly and safely removes the source of tendon pain.   Based on technology developed in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic, The FAST procedure– Focused Aspiration of Scar Tissue- is a minimally invasive treatment option for tendon and soft tissue injuries, such as tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, jumper’s knee, Achiles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.

“I am extremely pleased with the published results in patients treated with the FAST procedure, “ says Dr. McConnell.  “These results show patients have reported experiencing a nearly painless procedure, a quick recovery, and lasting pain relief.  I believe this new option will become a definitive treatment that removes the source of tendon pain.”

The entire FAST procedure is performed using local anesthetic to numb the area; patients are awake and alert the entire time.  During the procedure, conventional ultrasound imaging is used to identify the location of the scar tissue.  Once located, a small instrument-the size of a toothpick-is inserted into the damaged tendon.  The instrument delivers ultrasonic energy specifically designed to cut, break up, and remove damaged tissue safely and quickly, without disturbing the surrounding healthy tendon tissue.  The FAST procedureis also able to remove bone spurs at the affected joint that contributes to the patient’s pain or reduction in activity.

“Before tendon-related injuries were a common problem that did not have a good solution,” says Dr. McConnell.  “With the FAST procedure, I am able to intervene earlier in my patient’s care, change the nature of the disease, and get them back to their daily activities.”

Currently, over 10 million people in this country suffer from severe pain due to tendon scar tissue, which limits the range of motion and keeps them from living an active life.  Common treatment options such as rest, pain medication, cortisone injections, or physical therapy address the pain but not the damaged tissue, the source of the tendon pain.  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.  The procedure usually takes 15 minutes or less, requires only an adhesive bandage to close the microincision, and offers quick recovery time for patients.   “I am excited to be the first in Charleston to perform this procedure,” states Dr. McConnell, “It can be performed alone or in conjunction with PRP-Platelet Rich Plasma therapy. These minimally invasive therapies give patients an option for tendon pain.”