The Physician and Sportsmedicine, March 1993; Vol 21, No. 3, pp 78-93; doi: 10.1080/00913847.1993.11710336; Diane Beal Covington, MHS, PA-C & Frank H Bassett III, MD

Abstract Content:  Cryotherapy is a readily accessible, inexpensive modality for treating acute athletic injuries. However, prolonged cryotherapy (at low temperature) can cause peripheral nerve injury, especially in athletes who have little subcutaneous fat. The six cases reported here resolved spontaneously within 6 months. Simple measures that can help avoid nerve injury include compensating for the thickness of the patient’s subcutaneous fat, limiting the duration of treatment, and applying an insulating material between the cold source and the patient’s skin.

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