The applications of cryoneurolysis for acute and chronic pain management

Academic Article


  • Background: Cryoneurolysis is a term used to describe the application of extreme cold to targeted nerve tissue. The primary goal of the application of a thermal neurolytic technique is to disrupt the conduction of pain signals from the periphery to the central nervous system and eliminate or diminish the experience of pain. Recent advancements in ultrasound technology coupled with the development and approval of handheld devices specifically designed to deliver cryoneurolysis has expanded the use of this modality in the perioperative setting. Application: Surgical procedures including total knee arthroplasties, shoulder arthroplasties, thoracotomies, and mastectomies have all demonstrated long-term pain relief benefits when cryoneurolysis has been administered days to weeks prior to the planned procedure. In addition, the newly designed handheld device allows for office-based clinical use and has been utilized for various chronic pain conditions including neuropathic and phantom limb pain. Conclusion: The evidence clearly demonstrates that cryoneurolysis has a low risk profile and when administered appropriately, provides prolonged analgesia without promoting motor blockade. This narrative review article describes the unique mechanism of action of cryoneurolysis for prolonged pain relief and provides emerging evidence to support its applications in both acute and chronic pain management.
  • Published In

  • Pain Practice  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Biel E; Aroke EN; Maye J; Zhang SJ
  • Start Page

  • 204
  • End Page

  • 215
  • Volume

  • 23
  • Issue

  • 2