Hackensack University Medical Center Offers iovera° Nonsurgical Treatment for Knee Pain
Nerve-freezing pain-relief approach reduces need for opioid drugs
Hackensack University Medical Center physicians now offer iovera°, a handheld device that is applied in the doctor’s office before knee replacement surgery to relieve postoperative knee pain, as well as to reduce the chronic pain of knee osteoarthritis. This cryotherapy treatment has been shown to decrease patients’ use of opioids and restore mobility by reducing stiffness and discomfort.
The iovera° system’s cryoneurolysis approach to blocking pain relies on the body’s natural response to cold. After assessing a patient’s pain before a procedure, a physician uses physical examination and ultrasound to identify the nerves responsible for the patient’s knee pain. The nerves are marked, and the physician injects a local anesthetic into the treatment areas. The portable, handheld ioverao system delivers precise, controlled doses of freezing cold temperatures to the targeted nerves through a small, needled probe.
The treatment temporarily stops the nerve from sending pain signals to the brain without damaging surrounding tissue. Pain relief is immediate and lasts until the nerve regenerates, typically up to 90 days.
A clinical study showed that patients who received the treatment before total knee replacement surgery requested 45% fewer opioid prescriptions 12 weeks after the operation. They also reported less pain two weeks post-surgery. Patients with chronic osteoarthritis who received the treatment experienced less stiffness 30 days following treatment and reported improved physical function at the 90-day mark.
“Traditionally, opioid pain medications have been the first line of defense against knee pain due to osteoarthritis, both before and immediately after surgery, despite causing side effects that can detract from a patient’s recovery,” noted Gary Panagiotakis, D.O., who specializes in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and in Pain Medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center. “The iovera° system has provided us with a new approach to enhance the recovery of our patients and improve patient comfort without opioids.”
Learn more about innovative orthopedic care at Hackensack University Medical Center.