Orthopedics prefers cold therapies while treating acute injuries and post-surgery for a long time. Many people are already familiar with the rest, ice, compression and elevation method. Most of the system in the market only helps by providing cold therapy, not the compression. Wrapping a compression bandage and placing the cold pad over the bandage is the only solution.
So, there comes a need for Cryo cuff knee system. The new Cyro cuff system solves both the problems at the same time.
Basically, a Cryo Cuff Knee system is an ice machine or passive cold compression therapy unit which consists of three main components. These are:
- A cooler – Usually filled with ice and water
- A cuff – a sack to wrap around the knee
- A tube – provides water flow between the cooler and the cuff
Most commonly your doctor will ask you to buy and bring at least one of these units prior your knee surgery because it is understood that you are most likely get a severe pain and swelling which can only be relieved with the cold compression therapy. Many times physiotherapist also suggests buying the system even for other non-surgical knee-related issues because intense physiotherapy sessions sometimes make you feel as if you had just undergone a major knee surgery. The pain can only be relieved by the help of the system. After all the purpose is to provide compression with ice therapy which can reduce some of the pain and relieve the swelling as well.
Aircast Cryo Cuff Knee System is the most trusted brand among the others and most importantly it comes with almost all of the replacement parts and information on them.
So let’s come to the point – what are the options in which Cryo Cuff Knee System is available? There are mainly the two types:
First is the gravity-based system: In this system, water flows through the cuff by raising and lowering the cooler. Compression of the cuff is directly affected by the movement of the cooler meaning the higher you raise the cuff, the more pressure or you can say compression you will feel. This is a lower cost version of Cyro cuffs.
Second is IC pump system or called AutoChill System: This is a bit more expensive if compared to gravity based system because it provides an automatic continuity of the flow of cold water by the help of an electric pump and also offers intermittent pulsating pressure. People prefer to buy it even if it makes them spend more money because of its additional features, which allow for less swelling and faster recovery times.
Now come to the sizes!
These systems are available in three adult sizes. Small, medium and large are the specifications. Don’t worry if you are not familiar with what size you need this in. There is a calculation which says you need to measure the size of your thighs in round, approximately 6 inches above from the center of the knee, you can refer to the below numbers then:
- If the metering is 10 to 19 inches or 25 to 48 centimeters, you need a small sized system.
- If it is 18 to 23 inches or 46 to 58 centimeters, you need the middle sized system.
- If it is 20 to 31 inches or 51 to 79 centimeters, a large size will be a fit for you.
Now you are definitely wondering how to use it. So here is the idea of using a Cryo Cuff Knee System. You can simply follow the below step by step guide to set it up and use it. But note one thing this is only an overview of the steps. You should refer to the owner’s manual for specific instructions or guidelines for its usage.
- First, you need to get the cooler ready.
- Attach the blue tube to the cooler.
- Fill the cooler with cold water up to the indication line.
- Add ice.
- Place the insulation disk on top of the water/ice.
- Place the lid on top and secure it. Make sure it’s tight to ensure no water leakage.
- Wait five to ten minutes to make sure the water is cold enough.
- After filling the cooler, you need to wrap the cuff around the affected knee area. The top straps should be adjusted according to your comfort but the bottom strap should be a bit loser. You can adjust the front strap afterward.
- Another end of the blue tube should be connected to the cuff then open the cooler air vent.
- Cooler must be 15 to 20 inches above the cuff until the cuff is filled with water. Cooler air vent should be closed now.
- Make use of a plain surface like desk or table to place the cooler at the same level of the cuff.
- Motorized versions just need to be plugged in and it will automatically start circulating the cold water.
- Now sit calmly and enjoy.
Other tips to use a Cyro cuff are:
With a non-motorized version of the system, your body heat will eventually heat the water after a time. In this case, lower the cooler below the cuff, it will remove the warm water then repeat step 4 and 5.
You can lower the cooler if you feel tingling and numbness because of the pressure. It will make the cuff feel more comfortable.
Don’t secure the cuff too tight if there is any bandage or dressing around your knee.
Some people will recommend the ice packs or even a frozen bag of peas to get relief in case of pain and swelling. Even they could be right for some instance but others may require more than just simple icing. In fact, the benefits of the compression system can be achieved by analyzing the situation. It is advised to consult a doctor before reaching any conclusion.
However, this article is just shared for the purpose of information. This cannot be considered a medical advice in any way.