Cryotherapy is just a general term for using cold to treat several conditions.
Long Term Anesthesia
It is a specialized technique for providing long-term pain relief for various podiatric conditions. People have recognized the value of cold for analgesia for thousands of years. Hippocrates left us the first written records of the use of ice for pain relief. Modern Cryotherapy as we know it today was developed in the early 1960's.
Any use of ice is cryotherapy. When you bruise a knee or sprain an ankle, you use ice to reduce the inflammation. This is also cryotherapy. Cryosurgery is a minimally invasive procedure to eliminate pain. It is like placing an ice pack under the skin, but once the area is treated, the ice will melt.
The application of cold to tissues creates a conduction block. This is similar to the effect of local anesthetics, but the effect is long lasting. Long-term pain relief from nerve freezing occurs because the formation of an ice crystal disrupts the sensory component of the nerve structure.
Cryosurgery has been used for centuries to treat cancer. In 2003, cryosurgery was approved for the treatment of various foot conditions, such as, plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma, tarsal tunnel syndrome and various nerve conditions of the foot.
The doctors at Family Foot & Ankle Specialists have been using cryosurgery for eight years. We have had more experience with cryosurgery for foot related conditions, than any other physician in the United States. We have had wonderful results and it is a great option for a lot of foot problems, once all conservative measures have been exhausted.