Nerve cell (image via Wikipedia)
Nerve cell (image via Wikipedia)

Dr. Vinod Dasa, assistant professor of clinical orthopaedics at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, has scheduled a revision knee replacement for a 62-year-old female patient. But in the meantime, he’s relieved her chronic knee pain by freezing a peripheral sensory nerve with three needles through which very cold and highly pressurized liquid nitrous oxide is delivered. At the site of the target nerve, the N2O changes phase from liquid to gas, which is expelled out from the hand-held delivery device, leaving nothing behind but a frozen nerve. The degeneration of the nerve is temporary, and it eventually regenerates. The resulting pain relief can last up to three months, at which time pain signals flow once again.

This technique, trademarked as Focused Cold Therapy™, received FDA approval in 2013 for use as a reversible peripheral nerve block. According to Dr. Dasa, “Focused cold therapy offers reliable pain relief in areas such as the knee, which may allow for physical therapy to proceed and even reduce the need for systemic pain relievers.”

One thought on “Direct-to-Nerve Cryotherapy Makes Its Debut

  1. Replace the therapy with other therapies? Can I deduct my medication then? The hours in the cold chamber can complement medical therapies, not replace. They may in no circumstances reduce your medication without first consulting the doctor. Discuss any change in your treatments with your doctor. So joint mobility can be improved in some individuals after the CRYOTHERAPY if you then reduce medication or increase the load, you should decide together with your therapist.

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