The Radiofrequency (TOPAZ®) procedure is a revolutionary technique developed as a treatment for plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinosis, relieving chronic pain associated with those conditions. By employing a specialized device called a TOPAZ microdebrider, surgeons precisely target and break up scar tissue present in the inflamed areas. Boasting an impressive track record of over 5 million procedures, this method has earned the trust of patients seeking an alternative to traditional treatments.This short video will show you how this technique is performed.
What Is the TOPAZ® Procedure
The Radiofrequency (TOPAZ) procedure is a minimally invasive intervention that aims to treat chronic conditions such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinosis. This technique is specifically designed to eliminate scar tissue that impedes the body's natural healing process. Repeated damage, or overuse, of ligaments in the foot leads to the development of excess scar tissue, which eventually leads to chronic pain.
The TOPAZ procedure proves particularly beneficial for individuals who experience persistent heel or Achilles pain despite undergoing non-surgical treatments and/or physical therapy. Plantar fasciitis, which affects people who spend long periods on their feet - like teachers and runners - represents the primary cause of heel pain. Radiofrequency treatment offers a highly effective solution for those whose chronic pain restricts their daily activities significantly.
Why Is the TOPAZ® Procedure Performed?
The TOPAZ procedure presents an optimal solution for individuals afflicted by chronic plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinosis. These conditions are often characterized by the accumulation of scar tissue and persistent pain. In the case of plantar fasciitis, which affects people with both high and low arches, the plantar fascia ligament responsible for supporting the foot's arch can become inflamed and thickened. Similarly, intense running or hill climbing can cause inflammation and scarring in the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscle to the heel bone, causing Achilles tendinosis.
By breaking down this scar tissue, the TOPAZ procedure stimulates the body's natural healing processes while providing relief from pain and improving mobility limitations.
How To Prepare for the TOPAZ® Procedure
In order to achieve the best outcomes and facilitate a seamless recovery, there are several essential steps and precautions that must be taken before undergoing the TOPAZ® procedure.
Consultation with Your Resurgens Physician: Prior to the procedure, you will consult with your physician. They will carefully review a pre-operative checklist and assess whether TOPAZ is the appropriate treatment for your specific condition. It is important that your condition has a chronic nature, lasting 3-6 months or longer.
Preoperative Imaging: Before proceeding with TOPAZ, you will need to undergo imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI scans, CT scans, or ultrasound examinations. These tests are necessary in order to confirm which tissues are causing discomfort and requiring attention.
Review of Medical History: Your physician will thoroughly evaluate your medical history during this process. They will pay particular attention to any past foot or ankle issues you may have experienced in order to ensure comprehensive care.Medication Management:
- Discontinue the usage of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen for a period of three days before the procedure.
- Cease taking medications that contain steroids, such as cortisone or medrol, at least two weeks prior.
- If applicable, halt the use of blood thinners like aspirin, Plavix, or Coumadin at least seven days before the surgery. However, it is crucial to seek approval from your cardiologist and/or primary care physician beforehand.
Transportation Arrangements: Make arrangements for someone to drive you to and from the location where the procedure will take place. The administration of light sedation can impair your ability to drive.
By diligently adhering to these guidelines, you are laying a solid foundation for a successful TOPAZ procedure and facilitating a swift recovery process.
What Happens During the TOPAZ® Procedure?
The process of the TOPAZ® Procedure is simple and efficient. The entire procedure lasts approximately 20 minutes and utilizes intravenous sedation, which ensures that you remain relaxed while still maintaining independent breathing. Here's what you can anticipate from beginning to end:
Preparation: You will be comfortably positioned, and local anesthesia will be administered to numb the affected area. A grid pattern will be marked on your foot or ankle to delineate the specific regions that will undergo treatment.
Procedure (Coblation): The TOPAZ® device, which resembles a specialized sewing needle, is carefully inserted at each point on the grid. Once activated, it emits radiofrequency waves that effectively break down inflamed scar tissue without causing harm to surrounding areas. This deliberate "micro-trauma" stimulates your body's natural healing process by enhancing blood flow.
Post-Procedure Care: Immediately after the procedure, your foot or ankle will be bandaged. Weight-bearing restrictions vary depending on individual circumstances; some individuals may require a cast or splint for 2-4 weeks, while others may resume walking right away.
This minimally invasive procedure offers a fast and efficient method for treating persistent and painful conditions such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinosis, promoting effective healing.
Are There Risks Associated With the TOPAZ® Procedure?
Although the success rate of the TOPAZ® Procedure is high, it is important to understand that all medical procedures carry potential risks and side effects. Here is what you should know:
Delayed Relief: Immediate relief from pain cannot be guaranteed. In fact, there may be a slight increase in discomfort before improvement begins. However, post-procedure physical therapy and rehabilitation typically leads to a significant reduction in pain.
Risk of Rupture: If your fascia has partial tears, undergoing the procedure might raise the risk of a complete rupture.
Complications Due to Pre-existing Conditions: Individuals with certain bone or joint conditions, ligament disorders, or neurogenic diseases may not be suitable candidates for this procedure. Additionally, if you have previously undergone specific types of surgeries, it may not be advisable.
Unsuccessful Outcome: It is estimated that approximately 5-10% of patients may not experience improvement and might need to explore alternative treatments for pain relief.
Recurrent Issues: While generally successful when post-procedure guidelines are followed diligently, there is always a chance that problems with ligaments and tendons could recur.
You can stay informed about these possible side effects and complications by speaking with your Resurgens physician before your procedure. They will help you make an educated decision.
Post TOPAZ® Procedure & Recovery
Patients undergoing the TOPAZ® Procedure typically experience a quick recovery, enabling them to switch from casts or walking boots to athletic shoes with orthotics in just 1-2 weeks. Improvement in their condition is often noticeable within days. With its high success rate, this procedure offers most patients substantial pain reduction and enhanced mobility.
To find the optimal treatment for plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinosis, it is essential to seek assistance from Resurgens Orthopaedics. We invite you to schedule an appointment and visit one of our conveniently located Metro Atlanta facilities for further information and guidance.