Insights into cryotherapy and joint bleeding: cryotherapy and hemophilia

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There is some controversy over the use of cryotherapy. Low temperatures (Temp) could interfere with coagulation and increase the risk of bleeding. We sought to examine the effect of cryotherapy on joint swelling, temperature, friction, and inflammatory condition after experimental hemarthrosis. The left knee of 23 albino rabbits, 10 in heparin Ice, five in citrate Ice, four in heparin control, and four in citrate control were injected intraarticularly with 1 ml of blood. In total, four animals were considered to be in normal control group. Joint diameter, Temp, and ultrasonography were assessed before the blood injection. One day after the intraarticular blood injection, cryotherapy was applied 4 times per day for 4 consecutive days. Joint diameter and Temp were measured twice a day. After cessation of the protocol, joint diameter and Temp were assessed and sonography performed, animals euthanized, the friction test was performed and the synovial membrane collected, respectively. Joint diameter and Temp were increased after the intraarticular blood injection. Cryotherapy was capable of reducing the swelling and Temp. Ultrasonography findings approved the positive effect of cryotherapy on joint swelling. The proinflammatory tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) reduced by cryotherapy in both cryotherapy groups but Interleukin 1β was only reduced in heparin group. Interleukin-4 increased in heparin Ice group that was in comparison with TNF-α reduction. Cryotherapy reduced joint swelling and has a positive effect on controlling joint inflammation and Temp.

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