Freezing Foot Pain with Cryotherapy
The advancements made in the treatment options for foot and ankle problems continue to grow, making it possible to help patients more effectively, quickly, and with less pain and recovery time than ever before. One of the methods available today is something called cryotherapy.
What Is Cryotherapy?
The basics of this type of treatment began when the healing effects of using ice on an injury were discovered. The beginning of modern cryotherapy was introduced in 1966 when probes cooled by liquid nitrogen were invented. The foundation of this treatment method is simply applying very cold temperatures to a certain part of the body.
Today, this type of treatment, also called cryosurgery, is used to treat a variety of conditions and injuries. Typically done in-office, the first step involves numbing the area to be worked on with a local anesthetic. A very small cut is made to allow room for a probe called a cryoprobe to enter into the area that is painful. The probe contains a very cold gas, which makes its tip very cold. The goal of using this instrument is to destroy abnormal or diseased tissue, encourage the growth of new healthy tissue, and decrease pain and inflammation.
When Is Cryotherapy Used?
In sports medicine, you will find this treatment method used often as ice packs are put on sore muscles and bruised areas. Icing reduces inflammation, increases healing time, and delivers important nutrients to the injured area. For years, this technique has been used to treat malignant tumors in the prostate, liver, and other organs. In the podiatry world, cryotherapy is another treatment for warts, but it has also possibly effective in treating soft tissue conditions such as plantar fasciitis, heel pain, plantar fibromas, Morton’s neuroma, and chronic pain involving neuropathy. It has also been used to treat ankle sprains, bunions, heels spurs, Achilles tendonitis, and some cases of arthritis.
The benefits of cryotherapy are the limited amount of side effects and down time for the patient, however side effects can occur. The procedure is minimally invasive and typically lasts around 15-20 minutes. Depending on the type of work performed, the patient loses minimal time away from work, may have to limit activity for a few days and avoid prolonged walking and standing for a few weeks. There are very few complications after this treatment method.
Currently, this treatment option is not available at our podiatric office in Palm Desert, CA, but if you have any of the foot problems or conditions mentioned, we encourage you to contact us to learn about the safe, effective and quick treatments we do offer. After diagnosing the nature and severity of your foot problem, we can provide a tailored treatment plan suited to your needs that will allow you to get back to doing the things you love without foot pain.
Call Dr. Harvey Danciger at (760) 568-0108, or make an appointment online today.