Comparison of gaseous cryotherapy with more traditional forms of cryotherapy following total knee arthroplasty

Ann Phys Rehabil Med. 2012 May;55(4):229-40. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2012 Apr 5.
[Article in English, French]


Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of gaseous cryotherapy following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and to compare it to routinely used strategies for applying cold therapy.

Patients and methods: Sixty-six patients undergoing primary unilateral TKA were randomized into three groups and received "gaseous cryotherapy (GC)", "cold pack" and "cryocuff" applications, respectively throughout the hospital stay. Primary outcomes (knee pain intensity, mobility and girth measurements) were recorded on preoperative day 1 as well as on postoperative day (POD) 7. Cutaneous temperature of the knee sides were also measured on POD7 just before and immediately after cold application.

Results: Although skin temperature dropped to 14°C following GC versus 22 to 24°C for the other two applications (P<0,05), the three groups did not differ at POD7 regarding the three primary outcomes. No adverse effects were observed with any of the ways of application.

Conclusions: Gaseous cryotherapy was not more beneficial than routinely used strategies for applying cold therapy. Further studies with larger sample size and with a more frequent and closer gaseous cryotherapy applications are needed to confirm our results.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / adverse effects*
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Cryotherapy / methods*
  • Edema / etiology
  • Edema / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain, Postoperative / etiology
  • Pain, Postoperative / therapy*
  • Range of Motion, Articular


  • Carbon Dioxide