Cryosurgery is the newest form of treatment for Morton's Neuroma to offer patients a minimally invasive, clinic-based procedure with a high success rate and a very low degree of complications and with virtually no risk of stump neuroma. The technique uses medical-grade nitrous oxide to generate extremely cold temperatures to selectively destroy neuroma tissue.
Cryosurgery Injection Treatment
Cryosurgery involves the use of a cryoprobe which at its tip forms a 6-8mm ice ball that reaches temperatures as low as -67°C. The cryoprobe tip destroys nerve tissue by causing extensive vascular damage to the nerve sheath capillaries. This then causes demyelinazation (breakdown of the myelin sheath) and degeneration of the axon.
An important feature of cryosurgery injection treatment to appreciate is that the essential aspects of the nerve, the epineurium and the perinerium, remain intact therefore preventing the possibility of formation of a stump neuroma on the foot.
There are approximately 140 Podiatrists using this Cryosurgery technology. Over the last eight and a half years more than 42,000 cryosurgery procedures have been performed collectively, with success rates ranging from 80-97%.
Advantages of Cryosurgery for Mortons Neuroma over conventional surgery:
- The procedure is performed in the clinic setting, not in hospital.
- No stitches are required follwing cryosurgery.
- There is a 7 minute treatment protocol.
- There is no need for opiate based analgesics.
- There is no postoperative neuritis neuralgia pain.
- Patients can walk out of the clinic with their own shoes on as opposed to a surgical post-operative boot.
- There is little or no post treatment neuroma pain and only mild bruising in the forefoot lasting 4-5 days.
- Patients are able to return to work usually within 24-48 hours wearing only a plaster over the puncture site.
- Cryosurgery has a high success rate and wide patient acceptance.
- An almost non-existent risk of stump neuroma formation in the foot.
Cryosurgery Treatment From A Patient Perspective
The majority of Mortons Neuroma patients obtain complete pain relief, or significant improvement, immediately following cryosurgery injection treatment. When no pain relief occurs, it is usually because of dense scar tissue related to previous excisions of the neuroma in the foot; however inserting the cryoprobe through the plantar (underside) aspect of the foot can often overcome this. The ice ball is thought to destroy a one cm portion of the nerve which can regenerate at between one to three millimetres per day; therefore the axon regeneration should be complete within several weeks. It appears the long lasting pain relief is due to the reduction of neural oedema and nerve sheath fibrosis of the morton's neuroma.
Similar long-term relief has also been reported with the use of Cryosurgery in the treatment of painful trigeminal nerve pathology.
Are there any complications associated with Cryosurgery?
Cryosurgery has a very low incidence of complications associated with treatment. Infections are rare, as is abscess formation at the puncture site. All Morton's Neuroma patients who have had Cryogenic neuroablation (cryosurgery) have maintained full motor function with no greater loss of sensation then they had prior to the procedure. If patients are unlucky enough to experience a return of Morton's Neuroma symptoms at the one or two year point the cryosurgery procedure can simply be repeated. Cryosurgery has been approved by the FDA, a branch of the United States government that regulates foods drugs and medical procedures and equipment. The Cryosurgery equipment at the Barn Clinic has also received a European Union ‘C.E’ mark for the treatment of neuroma and plantar fasciitis.
Can anyone have Cryosurgery injection treatment?
Cryosurgery involves very cold temperatures, therefore this procedure is not offered to those Morton's Neuroma patients with poor circulation or peripheral vascular disease or conditions such as chilblains or Raynaud’s Phenomena.
I am interested in Cryosurgery for Morton's Neuroma, is there a waiting list?
The current waiting time for Cryosurgery to treat Morton's Neuroma at our clinic in Sheffield is 2-3 weeks. Please do not book a routine clinic appointment in the expectation that the procedure can be performed immediately, if you are travelling from afar we are happy to offer advice on travel and help with airport transfers from Manchester or Doncaster airports.
Why did you introduce cryosurgery for Morton’s Neuroma into the UK?
For many years Mr Weaver had felt sympathy for those patients who had unsuccessfully tried all the existing remedies for their Morton's Neuroma symptoms. Such patients were faced with the choice of either living with their foot pain or having standard surgery which could make matters worse.
Mr Weaver felt that Morton's neuroma patients in the UK should have access to the alternative treatment of cryosurgery which is effective and safe. To this end, he completed his cryosurgical training in the U.S with one of the world’s most experienced cryosurgery trainers. On his return to the UK, Mr Weaver has continued to work with American colleagues to develop and refine the technique further.
Since introducing Podiatric cryosurgery into the UK in 2008, Mr Weaver has now completed over 1000 cryosurgery treatments for both Morton's Neuroma and Plantar Fasciitis and is pleased to have been able to help so many people with their foot pain and heel pain using this higly effective treatment.
With well over five years of Morton’s Neuroma cryosurgery behind us, and over 1000 cryosurgery treatments carried out at our clinics in the UK, we are now the most experienced Podiatric cryosurgery clinic outside of North America.