Cryoneurolysis

The treatment leads to:

  • Swift pain relief
  • Improved quality of life
  • Reduced use of medication (morphine, anti-epileptic medicine, psychotropic drugs)
  • Fewer sick days
  • A quicker return to work

Cryoneurolysis or Cryoanalgesia is a treatment that provides long-term pain relief. This is done by applying low temperature (-20º to -88ºC) to the nerve.

Cryoneurolysis is applied to the nerve for 2-3 minutes repeatedly.

The analgesic effect of adding cold is documented historically and has been in use for many decades. In historical terms, people have been treating pain with cold since the days of Hippocrates (460-377 BC), and the earliest written documents show that they used cold compresses.

Cryoneurolysis uses the effect of cold against the particular nerve that is causing the pain.
Usually this is a sensory nerve.

After being exposed to extreme cold, the ability of the nerve to transmit signals stops (-20° to -88° C) for a few minutes.

After a few days, the nerve begins to grow again, approximately 1-3 millimetres per day.

In some cases, the pain does not return, even after the nerve is restored.

Once the nerve has grown back together, the pain may recur and Cryoneurolysis must be performed again. In other instances, the pain will have disappeared for the rest of the patient’s life.

After an in-depth telephone/email consultation, we can assess whether it is possible to treat your disorder — and your pain — with the use of Cryoneurolysis.

It is important for you to describe your suffering and pain situation to us, and how it is affecting you and your life.

If you are taking any medication, whatever you are being treated for, it is important to tell us which medicine you are receiving and what for (including all pain medication).

We will then immediately make an appointment for a preliminary examination.

At the preliminary examination we will use ultrasound to localise the nerve and perform a so-called ‘diagnostic block’ with a local anaesthetic.

In other words, we briefly anaesthetise the nerves involved in order to evaluate the effect of the treatment. The local anaesthetic works for just a few hours.

We can then plan the further course of treatment.

In the context of the actual Cryoneurolysis treatment, we will administer a local anaesthetic to ensure the treatment is pain free.

  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Supra/Infra orbital neuralgia (facial pain)
  • Occipital neuralgia (migraine, whiplash)
  • Mandibular and mental neuralgia (tooth, mouth, jaw)
  • Post-thoracotomy pain
  • Pain after herpes zoster
  • Pain after rib fractures
  • Frozen shoulder/post-operative pain treatment
  • Hand and underarm pain, osteoarthritis
  • Pain after herniotomy (hernia operation)
  • Genitofemoral neuralgia (interstitial cystitis)
  • Pudendal neuralgia (pain in/around the vagina, anus)
  • Cluneal neuralgia (pseudo sciatica, lower back — back)
  • Post-surgical neuroma
  • Morton’s neuroma
  • Plantar fasciitis (heel spur)
  • Facet joint pain — lower back — back pain
  • Meralgia paresthetica (pain in the thigh)
  • Somatic pain involving sensory nerves, such as rheumatism, arthritis (osteoarthritis)
  • CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) Type 1 and Type 2
  • Chronic/postoperative knee pain
  • Chronic/postoperative foot pain
  • Chronic/postoperative arm/hand pain
  • Phantom pain/stump pain

Before treatment, all patients receive detailed guidance about Cryoneurolysis treatment and possible complications and side effects.
Like any invasive treatment, Cryoneurolysis treatment can result in complications and side effects, but no serious side effects or lasting nerve damage after treatment have been reported worldwide.

Complications

Cryoneurolysis is a very minor and virtually painless invasive treatment, but when a needle is inserted through the skin, minor complications can occur in the form of:

  • Bleeding from the injection site. This bleeding stops during the treatment.
  • Discolouration of the skin on the site being treated. This is merely transient and does not require further treatment.
  • The discolouration will disappear after a few weeks.
  • Reddening, which will disappear after a few days and can possibly be reduced faster by using cold compresses.
  • Injection site infection. If infection should occur, the patient will be referred for antibiotic treatment.

Side effects:

The only known side effect of Cryoneurolysis treatment is temporary numbness in the area that has been treated. This numbness cannot be treated, but disappears spontaneously in a few weeks or in rare cases in the course of a few months.