Background: Cryotherapy is rarely reported on the usefulness of cryotherapy applied after total hip arthroplasty (THA), and there are no reports about patient satisfaction against the cryotherapy following THA. The aim of this study was whether cryotherapy can be useful for relieving pain, reducing blood loss, and swelling, and improving patient satisfaction after THA.
Methods: Thirty patients who had undergone THA were treated by a controlled cooling device for 72 h following THA (defined as the cryotherapy group). The other 30 patients without cryotherapy were not treated with cryotherapy (defined as the control group). Blood samples (creatine kinase, and C-reactive protein), estimated blood loss, visual analog scale (VAS) of pain score, total doses of diclofenac sodium suppository used for pain relief, thigh swelling, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) score, and adverse outcomes were compared between two groups.
Results: Thigh circumference, measured on only day 4 postoperatively, was significantly lower in the cryotherapy than in the control group. Furthermore, patient satisfaction on postoperative days 4 and 7 was significantly higher in the cryotherapy than in the control group. There were no significant differences in other outcomes between groups.
Conclusions: These results support the potential benefit of cryotherapy for the reduction of swelling, and patient satisfaction during postoperative recovery of patients undergoing THA, even in the presence of periarticular injection and tranexamic acid administration for the prevention of postoperative pain and bleeding. Postoperative cryotherapy is a potentially simple, noninvasive, and relatively inexpensive option for post-THA management.