The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

5 Uses For Cryosurgery In Podiatry & Sports Medicine

Posted by on Friday, September 27th, 2013

Over 2 million Americans are suffering from foot and ankle pain that conventional treatments are not helping. Cortisone shots, anti-inflammatory medication, stretching, ice, elevation, rest, and orthotics are standard first-line defenses. From there, the next step is surgery. Yet, we find that a better intervention for a number of patients is Cryosurgery.
cryosurgery podiatry
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What Is Cryosurgery & What Are Its Benefits?

Cryosurgery uses extreme cold (delivered by liquid nitrogen) to destroy abnormal tissue and stop pain. There are many advantages to cryosurgery. Typically, patients would be in post-surgery recovery for up to six weeks. However, cryosurgery patients are able to walk out of the surgery and return to normal daily life within a few days. Furthermore, the results have been generally quite good, with over 85% of patients reporting relief or significant reduction in pain.
chronic foot pain
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What Does Cryosurgery Treat?

 Some of the conditions we’ve treated with Cryosurgery include:
1. Plantar Fasciitis – A 2007 study reported an eight-fold improvement in heel pain a full year after cryosurgery.
2. Diabetic Neuropathy – A case study found a 90% reduction in  neuropathy pain, which allowed a woman who had been suffering from the condition for 15 years to go off medication for the first time.
3. Neuromas – A small-scale study of 20 patients concluded that 83% of patients said cryosurgery gave them “significant pain relief”; 39% of patient said they were “completely pain-free”; and 90% of patients said they’d have the procedure done again.
4. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome – According to Podiatry Todaythere is about a 50% success rate using cryotherapy to treat tarsal tunnel pain. They conclude there is a need to perform additional studies to determine the optimal freeze time.
5. Ankle Sprains – A study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found that Grade IV sprains reached full mobility in 13.2 days with cryotherapy, versus 33.3 days with more conservative heat treatment.
Cryosurgery is especially useful in treating injured nerves. Standard surgery may damage a nerve, whereas Cryosurgery freezes the innermost part of the nerve (which transfers pain signals to the brain), while leaving the outer shell in tact. From there, the freezing prompts regeneration over the next 6-12 months. Nerves presenting recurrent pain can be frozen again with no ill effect.
ankle cryotherapy
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Cryosurgery in New York City

Here at our NYC Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine, we are trained to perform Cryosurgery right here in our office. The procedure only takes about 15 minutes. Dr. Geldwert begins by administering a local anesthetic and making a small incision. An instrument called a trocar will then guide a cryoprobe to the affected area. We will then administer a three-minute freeze, followed by a 30-second defrost and another three-minute freeze. The probe is removed and an antiseptic is applied, along with a small bandage to prevent infection. No stitches are required! According to Third Agethe cost is just a little over $500, with most insurance companies covering it. If you have one of the conditions listed and live in the NYC area, do not hesitate to contact us with your questions about Cryosurgery. We’d love to help!


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.