New York Spine Institute Spine Services

Everything You Should Know About Cryoanalgesia

Everything You Should Know About Cryoanalgesia

Everything You Should Know About Cryoanalgesia

By: Angel Macagno, M.D. FAAOS

Dr. Angel Macagno was born and raised in Argentina where, as a board-certified physician, he practiced Orthopedic surgery for 15 years before deciding to fulfill his lifelong goal of practicing medicine in the United States.

If you are seeking temporary pain relief for your nerve pain, cryoanalgesia could be the answer. Learn more about this procedure and what to expect from it.

What Is Cryoanalgesia?

Cryoanalgesia — also known as cryoneurolysis — is a temporary nerve blockage that reduces pain along peripheral nerve pathways. This procedure uses a small probe to freeze the affected nerve. The low-temperature stimulation can encourage a complete regeneration of the targeted nerve’s structure and function.

When our bodies feel pain, the message travels along nerve fibers to the spinal cord and brainstem into the brain, where the pain registers. In chronic pain conditions, this process is on a continuous loop rather than a one-time experience. Cryoanalgesia provides a numbing effect on these nerves, treating a variety of painful conditions.

Who Can Benefit from Cryoanalgesia?

If you are experiencing chronic nerve pain, you may benefit from cryoanalgesia. In the past, medical procedures for pain were limited because the treatment required surgically exposing the affected nerve for access. Cryoanalgesia offers a range of benefits:

  • Outpatient procedure: Cryoanalgesia can be performed in a medical office without needing hospital admittance.
  • Lasting relief: In clinical situations where a temporary solution is required before surgery or another treatment, cryoanalgesia can provide relief from two weeks to five months.
  • Increased function: With pain relief, you can recover function in the affected area, allowing for exercise and other physical movements.
  • Enhanced quality of life: Life without pain can improve your mood and ability to complete tasks, increasing your quality of life overall.

Possible Side Effects of Cryoanalgesia

While adverse reactions to cryoanalgesia are rare, awareness of potential side effects is crucial. Some complications could include:

  • Temporary soreness from the procedure site.
  • Skin frostbite if the lesion is too superficial.
  • Damage to adjacent structures or tissue.
  • Trauma to the nerve from a misplaced probe.
  • Infection or bleeding at the incision site.

Cryoanalgesia Recovery Timeline

Following the procedure, you may return home — no hospital admittance is required. However, a loved one or trusted friend is recommended to drive you to and from your appointment. Keeping your weight off the affected area for a day after treatment can improve your recovery. 

You should experience improved results almost immediately. Please reach out to your doctor if any pain, tingling, numbness or irritation happens after 24 hours.

Cryoanalgesia Procedure at New York Spine Institute

Cryoanalgesia Procedure at New York Spine Institute

At New York Spine Institute, we treat several spinal conditions involving affected nerves. If you would like more information on cryoanalgesia pain control, feel free to contact our team today.