Study of the benefits of cryotherapy in postoperative anterior total hip arthroplasty

Antoine Ledoux, Stéphanie Meirlaen, Julie Manon, André Claude Mbaga Ntjam, Jean-Emile Dubuc, Maité Van Cauter, Olivier Cornu Published in the journal : September 2023 Category : Orthopedics

Summary :

The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the influence of a cryotherapy device compared to conventional cold packs in postoperative anterior total hip arthroplasty to assess the benefits in terms of rehabilitation, analgesia, and blood loss.

Existing literature suggests that cryotherapy may be beneficial in reducing postoperative pain (1) and blood loss in joint replacement surgery (2,3). However, no study has comprehensively evaluated these effects on patient rehabilitation and mobilization.

Firstly, our cohort comprised 158 patients, 14 of whom were excluded during hospitalization. The control group, consisting of 72 patients, received cold packs twice a day and, if necessary, on demand. The interventional group, also comprising 72 patients, received the cryotherapy machine three times a day during the first two postoperative days.

Secondly, our results showed a significant improvement in the revalidation score on the third postoperative day in the cryotherapy group. We could not confirm the significant impact on the clinical outcome. Moreover, no difference was noted in pain medication intake or blood loss. Finally, we can consider cryothera- py as a simple, non-invasive approach that does not increase the risk of adverse effects when used in immediate postoperative total hip arthroplasty (2).

What is already known about the topic?

Cryotherapy has proved effective in reducing pain and blood loss, especially in areas close to the skin, as in knee surgery (2). Nevertheless, the literature remains contradictory as to its effects on deeper joints.

What does this article bring up for us?

This is a prospective study with one of the largest cohorts in the literature on the use of a cryotherapy machine in postoperative total hip arthroplasty in a single institution. The analysis of early patient rehabilitation via the Modified Elderly Mobility Scale (MEMS) score is a first.


Cryotherapy, total hip arthroplasty, Modified Elderly Mobility Scale (MEMS) score, blood loss, analgesia.