Iovera® (Cryoablation of the peripheral nerves of the knee)
What is iovera®?
The iovera® treatment takes advantage of the body’s natural response to cold to reduce the sensation of pain in the peripheral parts of the body such as the knee.
How does iovera® work?
During the iovera® treatment, the peripheral nerve that transmits pain signals is targeted with focused cold therapy using a portable handheld device. A precise cold zone is created under the skin which prevents the nerve from sending pain signals. The effect is temporary until nerve regeneration occurs.
What are the benefits of the iovera® treatment?
Some important benefits of the iovera® treatment:
- Minimally invasive procedure
- Focused treatment which avoids damage to surrounding tissue
- No general anesthesia is used
- Can be performed in the office setting
- Immediate effect
- No medication required
How long does the effect of the iovera® treatment last?
Pain relief will last until the peripheral nerve has regenerated and this will depend on the location of the nerve that is treated. The estimated nerve regeneration rate is about 1 mm per day.
Can the iovera® treatment be used to manage pain after knee surgery?
Yes, the iovera® treatment can be used to effectively to manage postoperative knee pain and help with recovery. Of note, iovera® treatment cannot be used as a substitute for any surgical treatment that has been recommended by your doctor.
How do I prepare for iovera® treatment?
Your doctor will discuss your medical history and any medications that you are taking. Specific instructions will be provided, but in general there is very little you must do to prepare for iovera® treatment.
How soon can I return to routine activities following iovera® treatment?
Most patients are able to drive back home after receiving iovera® treatment and can resume basic activities on the same day. However, you should follow your doctor’s recommendations on safe levels to avoid stress on your joints.
What are the possible side effects of the iovera® treatment?
The iovera® treatment is very safe and approved by the FDA to block pain. However, there are minimal side effects such as tenderness or bruising at the treatment site which is comparable to any needle-based treatment.