Patient Story

Pam Boggs

Sidelining Pain Helps Mom Reach New Heights.

Pam Boggs had plans to climb Mount Rainier in Washington this summer. But in February, she couldn’t even walk across a parking lot without debilitating pain in her heel. The pain was so bad that it radiated to her lower back and hip, too.

The former University of South Carolina varsity cheerleader was accustomed to an active life. As director of Action Cheer & Tumble, a recreational gymnastics and cheerleading program that teaches classes in area schools, spotting a tumbler or choreographing a cheerleading routine is part of her daily routine. But plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the heel ligament, had her sidelined. “I tried physical therapy, icing, stretching, dry needling, everything. Nothing worked,” Pam said. “I had to be healthy enough to train for the Mount Rainier trip. But I couldn’t even walk on that foot, much less hike 14,000 feet with a 40-pound pack.”

Pam sought help from Kevin Nahigian, MD, a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon at Carolina Shoulder & Knee Specialists, a Lexington Medical Center doctor's office. Given Pam's treatment history and how long she had battled the problem, Dr. Nahigian recommended Tenex®, a non-surgical procedure that can resolve stubborn tendon and ligament injuries such as tennis elbow or plantar fasciitis. “The Tenex procedure is for the most difficult cases that have not responded to rest, anti-inflammatory medications, topical icing and even steroid injections for more than four months,” said Dr. Nahigian. “If you go beyond four months with this type of condition around the knee, heel or elbow, it could take up to two years to resolve.”

The procedure uses a tiny probe about the size of a toothpick, which is guided by ultrasound imagery and inserted into the affected area. The probe releases ultrasonic energy to breakup and remove the damaged tissue from the injured area. “Dr. Nahigian asked me when I wanted to have it done, and I asked, ‘How about tomorrow?’” Pam said. The next day, the doctor performed the procedure. It took less than an hour. For Pam, the effect was life-changing. “I got my life back,” she said. “Before, I couldn’t enjoy everyday life, much less the active lifestyle that I love so much. I was crying almost every day because of the pain.

”After eight weeks, Pam was training for her Mount Rainier climb at Sesquicentennial State Park, the Upstate and North Carolina mountains with jogging, cross-training and hikes carrying heavy weight. She and her son Will climbed Mount Rainier in July. She made it halfway to the top before altitude sickness made it tough to continue. But her foot never hurt one bit. “I have zero foot pain now,” she said. “This procedure totally saved me. I’m my old self again.”


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