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TKR Iovera Procedure to freeze nerves prior to TKR - yes or no?

LINDA_LOOHOO53

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To be transparent - I am a YES. Curious whether other folks have also opted for this and if you'd suggest to newbie new-knees (weak humor attempt) before they go in.

I received Iovera treatment yesterday, 2/22, in anticipation of my TKR on 3/5. I was told Iovera as a "game changer" and yet it's not covered by insurance*. I'm very lucky I could afford to pay outright ($850 per procedure).

I had the same procedure done in January before my other TKR and I believe it was a huge help based upon how I'm getting around 3 weeks after that surgery. So yes, I forked out $$ again.

What are other folks saying/hearing about this procedure?

UPDATED - I'm attaching a few pictures / flyer I received at time of the first procedure. Those 3 little prongs on the device deliver liquid nitrogen. The markings on my leg is where they located the nerves during the ultrasound that's performed prior. Topical treatment at point of entry, pressure and slight 'zapping' feeling as they apply. Slight bruising afterwards, takes around 1-2 days for full effect.




*There's a remote chance I can turn the itemized billing into insurance for reimbursement. I won't hold my breath.
 

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Celle

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iovera treatment is still relatively new. It works by freezing the nerve and the effect lasts for about 3 months, until the nerve regenerates.

There are several scholarly articles about iovera on line and some advertising by surgeons who perform it, but I didn't find any simple information that explains clearly the benefits and potential drawbacks of having this relatively new procedure.

I can't think of anyone apart from you who has had iovera treatment, @LINDA_LOOHOO53 , and I'm glad to hear that it worked well for you.
I will be very interested to hear how successful it is for your second knee replacement, so please do post and let us know, won't you?

If I had a positive outcome the first time, as you did, I think I would also be using it again, like you.
 
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LINDA_LOOHOO53

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My orthopedic group stated it's still new enough that insurance carriers aren't willing to pay for it. They are, however, collecting feedback and stats from patients to convey with hopes that it will be covered at a later time.

The observation I will make....the Iovera procedures FOOLS you because your pre-op knee pain dissipates entirely. I told spouse "I could walk on this until my leg falls off" because you don't feel the pain you felt, pre-Iovera. You almost feel silly going for a TKR because "it doesn't hurt anymore." It takes a few days to fully take effect.

Having Iovera on the second knee done a day ago, already I'm limping less and less on it.

Coming out of surgery, YES I felt pain. For sure. Yet I don't think I have a super high tolerance for pain and the PT folks are commenting how quickly I'm coming along on the first knee. I was off the walker just over two weeks in, I was off pain meds by end of first week and during this third week of healing I can walk a flight of stairs fairly easily. My straight leg (extension) is still 2 degrees, my bent knee (flexion) is around 110 degrees. I'm getting the *zaps* of nerve tingling now and suspect the Iovera 'damage' is starting to heal on the first knee.

Again - I am not superwoman by a long shot. I did work with a trainer for 3 months PRIOR to the surgeries to build up strength, I'm sure that helped.

Eager to get the 2nd knee done. 5 weeks after the first knee. Ortho group also commented many people ultimately delay the 2nd knee based upon the experience of the first one. I can't help but believe this was really beneficial for me.

I'll report back post 3/5 to see if I still feel good about Iovera!!
 
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LINDA_LOOHOO53

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I update this solely for anyone considering Iovera prior to their procedure.

Went in for my 4 week follow up after my first TKR. Surgeon looks at the new knee and declares how happy she is with my progress and that I'm AHEAD of expected progress. As we converse about the other knee (Iovera on 2/22 and surgery upcoming on 3/5), she declares Iovera is the reason why I've done so well on the first knee.

I will tell anyone I know that is considering TKR to explore Iovera based upon my personal experiences.
 

mature mama

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I have to say my femoral block makes all the difference. It is close to 5 days before I feel much in that knee and shin after surgery.

Don't plan to have knees replaced again for many years again but love that medical advances and technology are in our favor.
 

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