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The Power of Cold Therapy After Knee Replacement Surgery

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The Power of Cold Therapy After Knee Replacement Surgery
The Power of Cold Therapy After Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery, while life transforming, does require a period of rehabilitation to regain strength and function in the affected joint. This is where cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, can help by speeding up the healing and repair of tissues after surgery. Discover the many benefits of cutting-edge cold therapy techniques to enhance post-surgery healing.

How Cryotherapy Works

Cryotherapy involves the application of cold temperatures to the surgical site, resulting in vasoconstriction, or the narrowing of blood vessels. This helps the recovery after surgery in the following ways:1

  • Reduced Swelling and Inflammation: Inflammation and swelling are common side effects of knee replacement surgery. Cryotherapy works by constricting blood vessels (vasoconstriction), which helps decrease blood flow to the surgical site and reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Faster Healing: Vasoconstriction also reduces the risk of bleeding and bruising at the surgical site to facilitate faster healing.
  • Pain Relief: Cryotherapy has a numbing effect on the nerves around the surgical area, providing effective pain relief without the need for excessive use of medication.
  • Improved Range of Motion: Cryotherapy enables patients to move more freely and engage in physical therapy exercises aimed at restoring joint function. This can accelerate the recovery process and promote better long-term outcomes.

Types of Cryotherapy

  • Ice Packs or Cold Compresses: these are readily available and can be applied directly to the affected area.
  • Ice Baths or Cold Water Immersion: this involves submerging the body or specific body parts in cold water. This method is often used by athletes to aid in muscle recovery after intense workouts.
  • Cryo Chambers: individuals are exposed to extremely cold temperatures for a short duration, believed to have therapeutic benefits for overall well-being.
  • Cold Therapy Machines: these machines deliver controlled cooling to specific areas of the body, often used post-surgery to reduce swelling and pain.

Iovera for Targeted Nerve Freezing

FrischOrtho offers innovative solutions like Iovera,2 a cutting-edge technology that utilizes focused cold to temporarily freeze nerves responsible for knee pain. By numbing these nerves, Iovera provides long-lasting relief, allowing patients to engage more comfortably in physical therapy and daily activities.

Key Benefits of Iovera

  • The Iovera system consists of a handheld device that allows your doctor to apply just the right amount of extreme cold to the specific nerves causing your pain.
  • The pain relief is almost immediate and can last for up to 90 days, while other forms of cold therapy offer pain relief for only a few hours or days.
  • Iovera can be performed in the outpatient setting or in the doctor’s office.
  • It is simple and safe to use and the procedure takes only a few minutes.

The various types of cold therapy offer versatile and effective options for managing pain and promoting recovery. At FrischOrtho, we believe in a holistic approach to knee replacement recovery, and cold therapy plays a crucial role in our comprehensive treatment plans. By integrating cryotherapy and other advanced techniques, we strive to optimize your healing process, minimize discomfort, and maximize your return to an active, pain-free lifestyle.

Dr. Nicholas Frisch is a specialist orthopedic surgeon focusing on minimally invasive hip and knee joint replacement as well as complex primary and revision surgery. He believes in creating a personalized experience with the highest level of service. For all appointments & inquiries, please contact our offices located in Rochester, MI.


Credibility Links

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • American Medical Association
  • American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons
  • Mid-America Orthopaedic Association
  • Michigan Institute for Advanced Surgery Center
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