The Barn Clinic was the first in the UK and Europe to offer Cryosurgery for Morton’s Neuroma. We offer unrivalled experience of a highly skilled, difficult technique. Cryosurgery and pain relief is our passion.
What is Cryosurgery / Cryotherapy?
Cryosurgery and Cryotherapy both refer to a modern form of Morton’s neuroma treatment which was introduced to the UK by Mr. Robin Weaver, podiatrist at The Barn Clinic. For more information, please see our cryosurgery for Morton’s neuroma page.
Is Cryosurgery for Morton’s Neuroma safe?
Yes! We are the leading centre in Europe offering podiatry Cryosurgery for Morton’s neuroma and have performed more treatments than anywhere outside of North America. To date, we have performed over 2000 procedures with no reported complications or infections.
What can I expect during the treatment?
Your treatment will take place in a bright, clean and airy treatment room, and will be carried out by Mr Robin Weaver, with assistance from another member of staff. Both Robin and his assistant will ensure you feel at ease during your appointment and will often chat to you throughout the treatment.
You will be sat up (or laid back on request) in your own clothes, and you are welcome to bring a family member into the treatment with you.
As with many minor procedures in which anaesthetic is required, the first numbing injections are the most uncomfortable part of the treatment, but following these injections you wont feel any pain or discomfort. Some patients report feeling a slight vibration from the probe, approximately 100 patients report feeling a cold sensation during a small portion of the treatment.
The full length of the treatment will typically last around 40 – 60 minutes, including administering anaesthetic and dressing the area after
What are the advantages of Cryosurgery over other treatment options, such as excision surgery?
Unlike Morton’s neuroma excision surgery, Cryosurgery can be performed in a clinic, and there is virtually no risk of the patient developing a stump neuroma following treatment. Cryosurgery also has a much shorter recovery period than other treatment options, and has an extremely high success rate.
An important benefit of cryosurgery treatment for Morton’s Neuroma 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 which is a common occurrence with other surgical options.
Cryosurgery does not completely destroy the nerve, and therefore does not usually result in permanent numbness of the foot or toes.
Does Cryosurgery cause unwanted damage to the surrounding tissue?
This is a concern that sometimes arises due to the confusion between Cryosurgery for external skin lesions, such as warts and verruca, and Cryosurgery for nerve related issues such as Morton’s neuroma and Bursa.
Cryosurgery is a blanket term used to refer to treatment methods that utilise extremely cold temperatures and ice, but methods, techniques and technology vary greatly according to what it is that’s being treated.
Cryosurgery for the treatment of skin lesions, such as wart and verruca, typically does cause damage to surrounding tissue, largely due to the freezing agent that is being used and the method of application. This is often the origin of the misunderstanding that this will also be the case when using Cryosurgery for the treatment of Morton’s Neuroma. The reality is in fact quite the opposite!
Cryosurgery treatment for Morton’s Neuroma and Bursa is an incredibly precise procedure in which the freezing is applied a carefully and accurately, causing little to no damage to the surrounding tissue and structures. This precision and accuracy is achieved with both experience and a refined technique, and importantly, with constant ultrasound image guidance. Ultrasound guidance allows us to firstly place the probe in the optimum position, and secondly to detect and prevent any such potential damage before it occurs.
Cryosurgery is under no circumstances be performed blind (without image guidance).
In any event, freezing adjacent tissue for the very short period of time used to treat neuroma and bursa would cause no lasting effects other than mild short-term discomfort. Cryosurgery has been used to treat nerve related problems in the human body since 1970’s. Sir Sydney Sunderland, in 1968 demonstrated that after a nerve is frozen, the basic architecture of the nerve remains intact and stump neuroma formation does not occur. The nerve is typically able to regenerate at a rate of 1 – 1.5 mm/week.
Cryosurgery for Morton’s Neuroma now has a very well established safety records that exceeds the records of all alternative treatment options.
What’s the difference between Cryosurgery and Radio Frequency Ablation? Do they offer the same results?
The only similarity between Cryosurgery and Radio Frequency (RFA) is that both treatments aim to cause deliberate injury to nerves, typically via a ‘key-hole’ access. However, method of injury, the type caused, and effects of such injury are entirely different.
Nerve injury is classified by severity of injury on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the least and 5 being the most severe type of injury. (1)
Cryosurgery treatment for Morton’s Neuroma is caused by using exteme cold temeratures and results in Class 3 damage. Class 3 damage is ‘reversible’ as ultimately the nerve reverts back to normal. This is because the basic architecture or ‘scaffolding’ of the nerve is still preserved allowing for ‘organised ‘repair of the nerve which recovers typically at a rate of 1mm per week. (2)
RFA treatment for Morton’s Neuroma uses a thermo-electric current to cause the intended nerve injury, which results in Class 5 damage to the nerve. Class 5 damage results in total destruction of the architecture of the nerve and causes irreversible loss of function of the nerve. As with all treatments that aim to totally destroy the nerve there is always a risk of stump neuroma formation. With Cryosurgery, there is no risk of a stump neuroma.
We don’t offer RFA here at The Barn Clinic, and therefore would not like to comment on success rates, risks and outcomes. There are however plenty of resources available to the public regarding RFA outcomes.
1.Sunderland S. Nerve and nerve injuries. 2nd ed. New York: Churchill Livingstone; 1978).
2. Hsu M, Stevenson FF. Wallerian degeneration and recovery of motor nerves after multiple focused cold therapies. Muscle Nerve. 2015;51(2):268-75).
Is cryosurgery treatment for Morton’s neuroma painful?
A small percentage of patients experience mild discomfort whilst having local anaesthetic injection. This generally lasts a few seconds. Once the local anaesthetic has been administered there is no pain felt during the treatment.
How soon can I return to work following cryosurgery?
As soon as 48 hours in some cases, but usually 3-4 days following successful Morton’s neuroma treatment.
How soon can I run afterwards?
You should not start running again until at least six weeks after cryosurgery treatment for Morton’s neuroma. This is significantly shorter than the recovery period for traditional Morton’s neuroma surgery. For cryotherapy for athletes, please see our cryosurgery for athletes page.
Can anyone have cryosurgery treatment?
Patients with circulation disorders, particularly to the hands and feet require careful assessment and are not always suitable candidates for cryosurgery. Similarly, patients with serious medical conditions are assessed on a case-by-case basis.
If cryosurgery is not totally successful can it be repeated?
Yes, such patients will often experience total relief after a second treatment.
If the treatment fails can I still have my neuroma surgically excised?
Yes, there is no reason why Morton’s neuroma excision surgery cannot be performed if required.
How do I ensure my podiatrist is properly qualified to perform cryosurgery?
Mr. Weaver was the first UK podiatrist to be trained in the United States in the use of percutaneous Cryosurgery. He was trained by the most experienced U.S. Cryosurgery trainer, who has trained approximately 50% of the podiatrists who now perform Cryosurgery in the United States. On the completion of his training, he was described as being “one of the most competent and knowledgeable professionals I have ever trained”. Mr. Weaver introduced percutaneous Cryosurgery to the UK in 2008 and and has since gone on to train other professionals including Podiatric surgeons from the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists.
His qualifications are recognised by both the Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (IoCP) and The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (SoCP). Mr Weaver is fully insured and registered with the HPC (Health Professionals Council), and is recognised to provide cryosurgery by all UK medical insurance companies.
Since 2008 Mr Weaver has performed well over 2000 procedures and has also developed new protocols for the treatment of stump neuromas which are now being adopted by podiatrists in the United States.
Mr. Weaver is the most experienced and qualified person to perform cryosurgery in Europe, and as such he sees patients from all parts of the UK and the rest of the world, including patients who have travelled from countries as far as China, Australia and the United States.
Can I have my consultation and treatment on the same day?
Yes. The vast majority of our patients travel quite a way to visit the clinic. For this reason, we are happy to offer a consultation and treatment on the same day. Your consultation will take place in the morning, and your treatment in the afternoon. We do require you to leave the premises for a few hours to comply with informed consent regulations and to consider all the information provided to you during your consultation. In order to arrange a same day consultation and treatment, we do require a deposit to secure your appointments. Mr Weaver specialises in Cryosurgery for Morton’s Neuorma, and therefore Cryosurgery is available Tuesday – Friday (inclusive). Both your consultation and treatment will take place at the same location.
Do medical insurance companies cover cryosurgery treatment costs?
A lot of the major providers cover the treatment costs of cryosurgery with Mr. Weaver at The Barn Clinic for Morton’s neuroma however insurance polices can vary so please check with your provider.
Please note: We do not accept patients for cryosurgery through BUPA or AXA PPP.
How can I start my Morton’s neuroma treatment?
If you believe you have a Morton’s neuroma or foot neuroma we offer treatment at our clinic in Sheffield, UK. Please contact us for further information and to book an appointment. We also operate a Satellite clinic based in London. If you would prefer your treatment to take place at our London clinic, please call The Barn Clinic to discuss.