Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Cryo for Ledderhose in the UK

I have long been seeking a definitive answer as to whether the procedure to freeze a plantar fibroma nodule (aka cryotherapy or cryosurgery) is available in the UK. Last week I received an e-mail from a clinic which performs the procedure, therefore answering my question; yes cryo is available in the UK.

They have not been performing it long but I have opened a line of communication with them and they seem happy to answer my questions. I have asked them a few questions which I am waiting to hear back about.

However I was sent an information leaflet which gave me some more details which I have outlined below:
  • The total time required is around 40 minutes
  • The treatment should not occur within 6 weeks of having a steroid injection (an alternative treatment for Ledderhose)
  • The total cost of treatment is around £1400 for a single fibroma, including consultation, £2000 for 2 fibroma's when they are treated at the same time. 
  • A local anaesthetic is first applied to the target area
  • A probe, cooled to -55 Celsius is then guided using ultrasound to the target. In total the area will be cooled for 6 minutes which is broken down into 2 lots of 3 minutes.
  • A steroid will then be applied to the area to reduce inflammation.
  • The goal is to cause shrinkage in the fibroma and a decrease in pain.
  • “If your condition was caused by certain repetitive foot movements such as running or dancing then there is a risk the condition may return if the foot is exposed to these factors.”
  • The treatment may not work and the condition could still develop and more fibromas could appear. In the leaflet it states that the worst case scenario is the surgical removal of the entire plantar fascia. The article does not however cover that you may wish to try radiotherapy. I am currently researching to find out whether the 2 can be performed one after the other.
  • The leaflet also states that the condition may increase in soreness for 3-4 weeks before then seeing a steady decrease in pain for around 6 weeks and will ideally see complete pain relief by weeks 12-14.

I am unable to see any statistics on how frequently the treatment works or how long it is expected to last for, also questions I have asked.

Stay tuned to updates to this post and hopefully more information becoming available for Cryo in the UK. If you are a UK patient and you have had this treatment then please let me know as I would really like to speak to some patients who have had Cryo.