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All About iovera°


What is iovera°?

Do you suffer from osteoarthritis pain in your knee? The Orthopedic Performance Institute has a treatment for you. We’re one of the few practices in the San Antonio area that offer iovera°. It’s safe, FDA-approved and performed right here in our office.

Do you have a knee replacement surgery scheduled? iovera° can also be used prior to your surgery to help relieve pain and make recovery easier. Patients who received iovera° as part of their recovery plan reported:

  • Greater range of motion
  • Less difficulty straightening their bent knee
  • Less difficulty bending their straight knee

Additionally, studies have shown that iovera° can help reduce opioid use after knee replacement surgery. 68% less opioids were needed during the hospital stay and 45% less opioid medication was needed 12 weeks after surgery. Patients continued to have reduced stiffness at 30 days and improved ability to complete routine tasks at 90 days.

How does it work?

iovera° uses extreme cold to stop nerves from sending pain signals to your brain. Relief is felt immediately and can last up to 90 days.

The iovera° system is a handheld device that lets Dr. Matthews, our sports medicine specialist, apply just the right amount of extreme cold only to the nerves that needs to be targeted — the ones causing you pain. This process delivers immediate pain relief in the time it takes for a routine doctor’s visit, and it doesn’t hurt. iovera° does not contain medicine. It’s also safe and does not damage or destroy any surrounding tissue.

What does the procedure involve?

A numbing agent (topical or injected) is applied to minimize discomfort during treatment. iovera° treatment is not painful. Then, a small probe (called a “Smart Tip”) is inserted into the skin. Under the skin, a precise cold zone forms, which temporarily freezes the targeted nerve. Dr. Matthews will repeat this process until the targeted nerve is blocked. The entire treatment takes about 15 to 30 minutes.

How should I prepare?

It’s easy to prepare for the iovera° treatment. Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing that allows for easy access to the knee area (shorts are a good option).

Dr. Matthews will go over your medical history with you, including:

  • Any daily medicines you take (e.g., blood thinners, pain medicine)
  • Health history and health conditions you have now and/or have had in the past
  • Any previous surgery, treatment, or trauma
  • Any previous medical diagnosis regarding the treatment area
  • If you have a history of keloid (a raised scar after an injury has healed) formation
  • If you have a history of reactions to local anesthetics
  • If you have a history of sensitivity to pain or cold
  • Any open or infected wounds in the treatment area
  • If you regularly use anticoagulants such as fish oil, Coumadin, aspirin, or NSAIDS [nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen]

On the day of the procedure, we will assess your pain, clean and mark the treatment area, and numb it prior to the procedure. Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing that allows for easy access to the knee area (shorts are a good option).

Are you seeking relief from knee pain and stiffness? Contact the Orthopedic Performance Institute in San Antonio for a consultation with Dr. Matthews about iovera°.


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