​Using Cold Compression Therapy Post-Surgery

24th May 2016

Posted by Sara Zuboff on

​Using Cold Compression Therapy Post-Surgery

There’s a lot of knowledge about using ice and compression after an injury. However, both ice and compression are important rehabilitation modalities for many conditions post-surgery. Surgery affects the body’s soft tissues which can lead to pain and swelling. Cold compression therapy addresses both issues while also facilitating tissue healing. Some conditions patients could benefit from cryo-compression therapy post-surgery are:

  • ACL and MCL tears
  • Torn meniscus
  • Rotator cuff repair
  • Spinal surgery
  • Joint replacement—hip, knee, shoulder, elbow
  • Hand and wrist fractures
  • Amputation

Immediately after surgery, the body has a natural response to repair the tissue damage and defend itself. Subsequently, patient’s may experience swelling. While this is a natural part of healing, using pneumatic compression as part of cold compression therapy actually aids in flushing out the tissues, aiding the lymph response and kick starting the healing process, by oxygenating the injured area.

Cold Compression from Game Ready for Post Surgery Rehab
The GRPro 2.1 from Game Ready provides both compression and cold therapy after surgery or injury.

In immediate recovery post-surgery pain may also be an issue. The cooling from cold compression therapy gives the body a natural analgesic response making it easier for a patient to participate in any rehabilitation activities they may need to undergo, like physical therapy.

Related Article: Using Cold Compression Therapy for Athletic Rehabilitation

Subsequently, when a patient is several weeks out from surgery and starting to resume normal activities. However, there must be some caution and support as resuming activities is not indicative of a full recovery. Usually several weeks after surgery, patients are encouraged to limit activities and start slowly when getting back to their daily lives. Sometimes physical therapy is required to help regain strength, range of motion and function. Pain and swelling can be natural by-products of returning to a normal routine, making it important for patients to have access to the pain and edema reducing benefits of cold compression therapy.

Benefits of Cold Compression / Cryo-Compression Therapy

For patient’s that have longer recovery time, it’s important to have tools that are more effective than typical ice packs. One of the main benefits of cryo-compression therapy is that the delivery system for the cooling makes it penetrate deeper into injured tissue increasing its pain relieving capabilities which has many benefits primarily:

  • 1.Less use of pain medication
  • 2.Increased ability to perform therapeutic exercise
  • 3.More comfort than typical ice packs

Additionally, the combination of cold and compression together make a powerful rehabilitative tool which leads to:

  • 1.Reduced post-operative blood loss
  • 2.Shorter hospital time
  • 3.Better wound care

Cryo-compression systems offer many different wraps in order to optimally treat each area of the body. The benefits of using these systems from immediately post-surgery to the successful conclusion of rehabilitation, make cold compression therapy devices a good choice for both clinics and patient’s home use.