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What is Cryoneurolysis?

Cryoneurolysis for knee pain is a medical procedure used to alleviate chronic pain by freezing and destroying specific nerve tissues. It involves the application of extreme cold to targeted nerves, typically using a cryoprobe cooled by substances like liquid nitrogen, liquid nitrous oxide, or compressed argon gas. 

It is employed as an advanced treatment option for individuals whose chronic pain hasn’t responded well to traditional methods. During the procedure, the nerve responsible for transmitting pain signals to the brain is targeted and frozen, temporarily disrupting its function. This interruption can provide significant pain relief for a period ranging from six months to a year.

Cryoneurolysis is commonly utilized for various types of pain originating from peripheral nerves, which are located outside the brain and spinal cord. Cryoneurolysis nerve block temporarily and reduce pain making it a valuable tool in enhancing patient comfort and recovery during the perioperative period, showcasing ongoing innovation in pain management strategies.

Diseases cured by Cryoneurolysis

Cryoneurolysis procedure has various clinical applications in treating different types of pain, including cryoneurolysis knee pain, craniofacial pain, abdominal and pelvic pain, low back and lower extremity pain, upper extremity pain, and chest wall pain. Here are the specific clinical applications for each category:

Craniofacial Pain

  • Supraorbital Neuralgia
  • Infraorbital Neuralgia
  • Mandibular Neuralgia
  • Mental Neuralgia
  • Auriculotemporal Neuralgia
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Posterior Auricular Neuralgia
  • Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia

Abdominal and Pelvic Pain

  • Ilioinguinal, Iliohypogastric, Genitofemoral, Subgastric Neuralgia
  • Sacral Neuralgia
  • Pudendal Neuralgia

Low Back and Lower Extremity Pain

  • Facet Joint Pain
  • Interspinous ligament pain
  • Pseudo Sciatica
  • Superior Gluteal Nerve Pain
  • Sacroiliac Joint Pain
  • Cluneal Neuralgia
  • Lower Extremity Pain
  • Obturator Nerve Pain
  • Deep Peroneal Nerve Pain
  • Medial and Lateral Calcaneal Nerve Pain
  • Peripheral Neuropathy

Upper Extremity Pain

  • Suprascapular Nerve Pain
  • Superficial Radial Nerve Pain

Chest Wall Pain

  • Post-thoracotomy neuromas
  • Persistent pain after rib fractures
  • Thoracic postherpetic neuralgia

Regarding contraindications, cryoneurolysis is generally contraindicated in individuals with bleeding diathesis or active infections (local or systemic). In terms of efficacy for controlling cancer pain, cryoablation has been found to be effective without significant side effects, making it a viable option for managing cancer-related pain.

How does it work?

Cryoneurolysis is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure conducted in the operating room with sedation. The process begins with sensory and motor nerve testing to pinpoint the target nerve. Subsequently, a needle is precisely inserted near the nerve location, guided by interventional radiology imaging. Liquid nitrogen or argon gas is then delivered through the needle, lowering the nerve’s temperature to approximately -70 degrees Fahrenheit. All this takes place in a cryoneurolysis machine.

This extreme cold damages the nerve’s protective myelin layer, disrupting its ability to transmit pain signals to the brain without directly affecting the nerve itself. Patients may experience discomfort during the freezing process, typically lasting for the duration of the procedure, which generally lasts between one to three hours.

While cryoneurolysis is not a permanent solution due to the nerve’s ability to regenerate myelin, it offers relief for up to a year. Muscle spasms may occur post-procedure but typically subside within one to two weeks. Most individuals can resume their normal activities within one to three days after the procedure. Repeat procedures can be performed as needed to manage pain effectively.

Post Recovery Care

Post-recovery care following cryoneurolysis involves several key considerations. Patients may experience nerve-selective effects that last up to 112 days after repeated cryoneurolysis with ice-slurry injections, with full recovery of nerve function and structure noted. The use of colder slurry temperatures, such as -9°C, can lead to rapid analgesia onset, aiding in non-opioid pain management post-surgery or trauma and potentially reducing chronic pain.

After a nerve block injection, patients may encounter symptoms like droopy eyelid, stuffy nose, red eye, facial redness, trouble swallowing, or warmth/redness in the leg/foot if the block was in the back. If you’re still searching cryoneurolysis near me in your browser, you now have the perfect answer. Choose Dr. Manohar Kanwaria for the best treatment at an affordable price range. You should follow the doctor’s instructions regarding eating/drinking post-procedure. Using warm compresses can alleviate pain and discomfort by relaxing muscles and calming nerves; however, patients should use them cautiously, avoiding direct sources and applying them for short periods.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How does cryoneurolysis differ from other nerve treatments?

Cryoneurolysis is distinct from other nerve treatments like radiofrequency ablation or nerve blocks because it uses freezing temperatures to interrupt nerve signals. This freezing process is more targeted and can provide longer-lasting relief compared to other methods.

  1. Is cryoneurolysis a permanent solution for pain?

While cryoneurolysis can provide significant pain relief, it’s typically considered a temporary or semi-permanent solution. The nerve fibers can regenerate over time, although the duration of pain relief can vary widely among individuals and the specific condition being treated.

  1. What are the potential risks or side effects of cryoneurolysis?

Common risks and side effects of cryoneurolysis include temporary numbness or altered sensation in the treated area, localized swelling or bruising, and in rare cases, damage to nearby tissues. However, serious complications are uncommon when the procedure is performed by experienced healthcare professionals.

  1. Can cryoneurolysis be combined with other treatments?

Yes, cryoneurolysis is often used in conjunction with other pain management techniques such as physical therapy, medications, and lifestyle modifications. Combining treatments can enhance overall pain relief and improve functional outcomes for patients.

  1. Is cryoneurolysis suitable for everyone with chronic pain?

Cryoneurolysis may not be suitable for individuals with certain medical conditions, such as severe peripheral vascular disease or clotting disorders, as well as those who are pregnant. A thorough evaluation by a healthcare provider is necessary to determine if cryoneurolysis is an appropriate option for pain management.

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