A retrospective analysis was conducted to determine if cryoneurolysis of superficial genicular nerves combined with standard care decreased postoperative opioids and pain after total knee arthroplasty (TKA).
Data from patients who underwent TKA at a single center were analyzed. Patients who received standardized cryoneurolysis before TKA were compared with a historical control group including patients who underwent TKA without cryoneurolysis. Both groups received a similar perioperative multimodal pain management protocol. The primary outcome was opioid intake at various time points from hospital stay to 6 weeks after discharge. Additional outcomes included pain, length of stay, and range of motion.
The analysis included 267 patients (cryoneurolysis group: n = 169; control group: n = 98). During the hospital stay, the cryoneurolysis group had 51% lower daily morphine milligram equivalents (MMEs) (47 vs 97 MMEs; ratio estimate, 0.49 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.43-0.56]; P < .0001) and 22% lower mean pain score (ratio estimate, 0.78 [95% CI, 0.70-0.88]; P < .0001) vs the control group. The cryoneurolysis group received significantly fewer cumulative MMEs, including discharge prescriptions, than the control group at week 2 (855 vs 1312 MMEs; ratio estimate, 0.65 [95% CI, 0.59-0.73]; P < .0001) and week 6 (894 vs 1406 MMEs; ratio estimate, 0.64 [95% CI, 0.57-0.71]; P < .0001). The cryoneurolysis group had significant 44% reduction in overall length of stay ( P < .0001) and greater flexion degree at discharge ( P < .0001).