Stop Pain Cold With iovera Treatment (Cryotherapy), A Non-Opioid Cold Pre-surgical Preparation for Knee Surgery at Houston Physicians’ Hospital
The ioveraÒ Treatment uses the power of cold temperature to immediately reduce pain. When the body naturally responds to cold, it blocks the signaling portion of a peripheral nerve temporarily reducing pain during the critical weeks following surgery. iovera is a non-opioid nerve block that provides immediate long-lasting pain relief.
Also known as cryoanalgesia—with ‘cryo’ meaning ‘cold’ and ‘analgesia’ meaning ‘pain relief’—the treatment enhances physical functions by switching off pain receptors.
iovera: Prior to Knee Surgery for a Smoother Recovery
Your physician knows pre-surgical preparation is important to your recovery. In fact, clinical studies were conducted comparing patients treated with iovera to those who were not treated with iovera. The results show that iovera patients:
· Requested fewer narcotics and reported better function and pain scores
· Experienced less stiffness, reported 6 to 12 weeks after surgery · Reported decreased knee pain and improved symptoms for up to 150 days in 77% of the study populations
How Does iovera Work?
The iovera system is effective because of it applies cold temperatures locally to the affected areas. By targeting precise nerve cells, specialists and physicians can help patients find effective pain relief after knee surgery.
Essentially, the technique blocks targeted sensory nerves from sending pain signals. A small probe (also referred to as a Smart Tip) is inserted into the treatment region and a treatment cycle is performed. A precise cold zone is formed under the skin – cold enough to temporarily stop the nerve from signaling without damaging surrounding tissue. This is repeated until the nerve is blocked, providing pain relief until the nerve regenerates.
The minimally invasive and non-surgical procedure takes approximately 45 minutes and does not involve drugs, opioids, or narcotics. With its effects lasting for over 90 days, patients experience effective pain relief and enhanced mobility after surgery.
What Are the Benefits of iovera Prior to Surgery?
iovera treatment offers the following benefits:
- Enhanced mobility and flexibility after surgery
- Reduction in the symptoms of arthritis
- Less stiffness
- Faster recovery
How Should I Prepare for iovera?
Prior to treatment, specialists and physicians examine your symptoms and condition. We will assess your medical history, medication use, lifestyle, and current health before prescribing treatment. We recommend informing your doctor about a potential history of keloid formation or sensitivity to cold. On the day of treatment, the targeted area is numbed using an anesthetic injection before inserting the iovera smart tip in the affected area. You may experience a slight tingling sensation without discomfort. Once the treatment has been completed, you’ll receive a post-treatment plan that includes follow-up instructions.
Does iovera hurt?
Doctors will administer a local anesthetic to the area before treatment. While the treatment should not be painful, it is normal to experience pressure, a sensation of cold, warmth, and tingling and/or tapping during treatment. This altered sensation during treatment is an indication that the treatment is working.
Does iovera Cause Any Side Effects?
Common side effects include local pain, tenderness, swelling, bruising and tingling or numbness. Typically these reactions resolve with no physician intervention.
How Soon Can I Resume Normal Activity?
Post-treatment activity instructions are at the discretion of your physician. You may return to non-strenuous activity immediately after receiving the iovera treatment; however, your physician may have additional instructions prior to your surgery. Consult your physician regarding appropriate levels of activity.
How Long Do The Results from an iovera Treatment Last?
The treatment effect is immediate and lasts until the nerve has fully regenerated. Treatment results may vary by individual and location of treatment. In general, nerves regenerate at a rate of approximately 1mm per day. In a randomized, multi-center study, 77% of iovera patients experienced a reduction in pain for up to 150 days.
If iovera Blocks My Pain, Why Do I Still Need Surgery?
The iovera treatment effect is temporary. It does not change the underlying condition for which your physician has recommended surgery. However, iovera treatment prior to surgery can help improve pain scores, function and overall symptoms.
iovera Treatment at Houston Physicians’ Hospital
At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, iovera technology is just part of the innovative pre-surgical medical treatments we offer to treat pain and inflammation. You can find a doctor at our Joint Solutions Center who can help you find relief from chronic pain in your knee or other joints. We serve patients throughout Southeast Texas—including South Houston, Clear Lake, Webster, League City, and Galveston.
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