How Does Cryotherapy Improve ACL Surgery Recovery?

By Kelly Hansen | Dec 19, 2013
One of the best ways to ensure that you make a speedy and full recovery after ACL surgery is to include cryotherapy as part of your rehabilitation plan. Cryotherapy is simply defined as the application of therapeutic cold to an injury. The effects of this therapeutic cold are many, and like other types of therapy, there are techniques you can employ to ensure that you get the most from your efforts.

Why to Use Cryotherapy After ACL Surgery

Cryotherapy is proven to have the following benefits:
  • Pain reduction - When you apply cold to any part of your body, the nerve fibers in the area reduce their activity, which lessens your perception of pain, providing an analgesic effect. Cryotherapy also has the effect of reducing muscular activity, which also contributes to a reduction in pain.

  • Swelling control - Swelling is a natural part of the inflammatory response that your body will go through after ACL surgery. Although a little swelling is normal, and in fact beneficial, too much swelling can impede the healing process and be uncomfortable for you. Cryotherapy reduces swelling by causing your blood vessels to alternate between dilation and constriction, removing the excess waste and fluid that contributes to swelling.

  • Edema reduction - Vasoconstriction and vasodilation also contribute to edema reduction with the same pumping effect that helps control swelling.

  • Faster healing - All of these factors combine to contribute to an overall faster healing process. Being in less pain will allow you to comfortably perform the exercises that your physical therapist recommends, and the healing effects of cryotherapy will help you get back on your feet faster.

Enhancing Cryotherapy After ACL Surgery

One way to employ cryotherapy is with the use of ice packs. Although this has been an effective method for decades, modern technology has made major strides that allow you to enhance the benefits of cryotherapy.

Consistent Cold

One of the drawbacks of ice packs is that they heat up over time and become gradually less effective. New cryotherapy systems use an ice reservoir and a constantly circulating flow of cold water to provide a consistent application of therapeutic cold. In combination with specialized wraps that cover the entire area around the knee joint, you benefit from deeper-penetrating, longer-lasting cryotherapy.

Active Compression

Adding active compression to cryotherapy enhances all of its benefits. Active pumping helps remove excess fluid while bringing even more fresh blood and fluid to the damaged tissues to stimulate faster healing.

Game Ready uses patented technology to provide simultaneous active compression with the application of consistent therapeutic cold. Ask your doctor about using Game Ready after ACL surgery or find a provider near you.

Have you tried cryotherapy for other injuries?

Cost of Cryotherapy
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Post-Surgery Treatment Options for Below the Knee Amputation

By Kelly Hansen | Mar 14, 2013

Limb amputations in the U.S. occur for a variety of reasons. The most common is a vascular problem such as diabetes or peripheral vascular disease, accounting for 82 percent of all lower extremity amputations. Trauma is the second most common reason, and affects more men than women. The leading causes of trauma-related lower extremity amputations are machinery injuries (40%), powered tools and appliances (28%), firearms (9%) and car accidents (8%).

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5 Ways to Accelerate Amputation Rehabilitation With Active Cold Compression

By Kelly Hansen | Mar 11, 2013

If you’re one of the two million people in the U.S. living with the loss of a limb, you know how important physical rehabilitation is for those seeking to recover after an amputation. Therapy helps amputees learn how to adjust and recover as much of their functional life as possible. The good news is that surgical techniques, rehabilitation methods and prosthetic designs have improved greatly, and so most amputees are able to function at high levels.

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Why Ice Water Therapy Alone Won’t Speed Up Muscle Recovery

By Kelly Hansen | Feb 14, 2013

Cold (cryo) therapy is widely used after a musculoskeletal injury or post-surgery to decrease pain, muscle spasms, edema and swelling. Let’s say you’ve had an ankle or knee injury. You know the drill – get in bed or on the couch, elevate the leg and apply ice to the injured area. You also remember the mess and inconvenience this kind of ice water therapy causes – wet pillows, bedclothes, blankets, etc. Staying compliant with that type of cold therapy is really difficult and that’s just one reason why ice water therapy alone isn’t ideal for recovering from a sports injury.

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Why More Doctors Are Turning to Cold Compression Therapy

By Kelly Hansen | Feb 11, 2013

For many years, the standard of care following a musculoskeletal injury was the RICE (Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation) method. You got in bed, elevated your ankle, for example, put a bag of crushed ice or frozen peas on the injury and tried to keep it tightly wrapped with an ace bandage from the local drugstore. If this sounds familiar, then I bet you also recall wishing for a more convenient and effective way to deliver cold compression therapy to your injury.

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