Is cold therapy really efficient after knee arthroplasty?

Ann Med Surg (Lond). 2015 Nov 11;4(4):475-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amsu.2015.10.019. eCollection 2015 Dec.


Introduction: Knee arthroplasty is a frequently used surgery. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of cold therapy after knee arthroplasty.

Methods: 60 patients who were operated in our clinic between the years 2013 and 2014 were evaluated prospectively, and the patients were randomized into two groups. The cold therapy by Cryo/Cuff application was started 2 h before the surgery in Group-2 patients; it was repeated in a postoperative 6th hour and continued for postoperative four days. We analyzed the visual analog scales (VAS) for pain, Knee Society Scores (KSS), hemoglobin, and bleeding parameters.

Results: The data of the group that did not receive the Cryo/Cuff application (Group-1) are as follows; the number of the patients was 33; the mean age value was 68,4 (53-78). Group-2 data was as follows; the number of the patients was 27; the mean age value was 67.2 years (range 57-78). The mean KSS scores of the patients increased from 79.6 (75-83) and to 90.5 (88-92) postoperatively (p < 0.05).

Discussion: In our study, the pain and functional knee scores of the patients who received Cryo/Cuff application were significantly different and as expected, the use of analgesics was much lower. Cryotherapy did not affect the amount of bleeding during the surgery (p > 0.05), which was not reported previously in the literature.

Conclusion: After knee arthroplasty, the preoperative and postoperative use of cryotherapy is effective in terms of the pain control and functional knee scores without a significant change in surgical blood loss.

Keywords: Arthroplasty; Cryotherapy; Knee; Replacement.