iovera° Treatment for Knee Pain

If you suffer from knee pain, you’re not alone. In fact, The Washington Post reports research indicates that approximately one in four adults suffer from chronic knee pain. We are excited to announce that Dr. Bill More Smith and RiverRun HEALTH now offer iovera°, a safe, innovative, non-surgical pain-relief treatment for patients with knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. “iovera° has been a real game changer for our patients,” says Dr. Bill Moore Smith. “It’s incredible to watch these patients walk in with debilitating pain and then be able to experience immediate relief.”

Read on to learn more about iovera° treatment and see if it might be right for you. 

What is iovera° treatment?

iovera° is a minimally invasive (non-surgical) treatment for knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. It uses extreme cold to temporarily stop nerves from sending pain signals to the brain, a process sometimes referred to as cryoanalgesia or cryoneurolysis. This effect is immediate and can last for up to 90 days.

How effective is iovera° treatment?

iovera° treatment is both a safe and effective treatment for knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. In clinical trials, iovera° treatment was shown to provide significant pain relief in more than 80% of patients. Patients typically experience immediate effects, which can last for up to 90 days.

Who is a good candidate for iovera° treatment?

iovera° might be a good option for you if you experience knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. Many successful iovera° patients were first told their only treatment option was a total knee replacement, after having failed all previous non-surgical options. iovera° also serves as an excellent alternative for patients who are unable to have surgery for various reasons or may need to postpone the surgery. This advanced treatment provides patients with a more pain-free life by blocking the pain to the joints for 90 days without surgery or repeated injections.

Here are a few additional factors to help determine if a patient is a good candidate for iovera°:

Osteoarthritic (OA) Knee Pain

In a recent clinical trial, iovera° helped people with OA achieve pain relief, better physical function, and reduced stiffness. It might be right for you if you have not found relief from other treatments, such as:

    • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen and naproxen)
    • Opioids (prescription pain relievers, including hydrocodone and oxycodone)
    • Injections (cortisone shots), hyaluronic acid, platelet-rich plasma (PRP)

Knee Replacement Surgery

Additionally, iovera° treatment can be given before or after surgery to make recovery easier and less painful. The treatment has been shown to relieve pain, improve range of motion, and reduce opioid use following surgery. You may also consider iovera° if:

  • You want to delay surgery for a short time, such as until after an event or season
  • You have other risk factors that need to be addressed before surgery
  • You are working with a doctor to develop a rehabilitation and/or physical therapy plan that should not be hindered by pain

What should I expect during treatment? 

Dr. Bill Moore Smith, sports medicine physician at RiverRun HEALTH, performs the treatment in-office. The procedure typically takes around 30 minutes and is performed under local anesthesia.

  • First, to determine the treatment area, your doctor will ask you about the location and level of your pain. Your doctor will then clean and mark the treatment area.
  • Then, your doctor will numb the area with an anesthetic injection (you may feel a slight pinch) or a cold spray.
  • Now, your doctor is ready to use the iovera° system. The part of the system that goes into your skin is called the “Smart Tip.” You may feel pressure or tugging when it is inserted. It’s also normal to experience cold, warm, or tingling sensations, or some level of discomfort, but not pain. A small probe is inserted into the skin near the knee joint. The probe then delivers a precise cold zone, which freezes the targeted nerves. This immediately blocks the nerve from sending pain signals to the brain.

Are there any risks or side effects? 

The most common side effects of iovera° treatment are numbness and tingling in the treatment area. These side effects are usually mild and temporary. Other possible side effects, however rare, include swelling, bruising, and pain at the treatment site.

Is iovera° treatment covered by insurance?

Insurance coverage for iovera° treatment varies depending on the insurance company. Some insurance companies may cover all or part of the cost of the treatment. Additionally, RiverRun HEALTH offers self-pay rates for patients without insurance or whose insurance does not cover treatment. For more information about insurance coverage and self-pay rates, please call our office at 423.531.9300.

Additional Resources

Want to learn more about iovera°? If you are considering treatment, talk to your doctor to see if it is right for you. Also, here are a few additional resources:

Why choose RiverRun HEALTH?

If you have unresolved knee pain caused by osteoarthritis, iovera° treatment might be right for you. At RiverRun HEALTH, our clinicians have helped tens of thousands of patients experience relief from knee pain. Additionally, our patients can rest assured that Dr. Bill Moore Smith and his team will always apply a non-surgical treatment approach first

To learn more and to schedule a consultation, call our office at 423.531.9300. 

Dr. Bill Moore Smith provides regenerative medicine, including non-surgical neck and back pain and joint injections, at RiverRun Health in Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a board-certified sports medicine doctor, Dr. Smith specializes in orthopaedic and sports medicine with an emphasis on preventative and restorative medicine. 

Learn more about Dr. Smith



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