I don’t know if icing is any good for injuries really. Having seen thousands of patients recover from knee surgery I can’t say that icing makes any difference. This goes against the accepted treatment and scientific studies to prove otherwise but I would not get too worried if you are not applying ice to your injury or your knee after surgery.
In fact you are probably saving yourself the hassle.
How cold does the ice need to be?
Can I put it against my skin?
How long do I apply it for?
You could save yourself all this and just not bother applying ice at all as for me it is not really the killer application.
What I do like is elevation. Decrease the swelling in the knee by increasing venous return and especially by not allowing that nasty bruising to go down the front of the shin bone after ACL surgery. This is really sore. Then it tracks around to the back and in to the calf and you are off to the hospital for a DVT scan.
Elevate your leg 2 feet higher than your head when at rest for the first week after anterior cruciate ligament surgery and by and large you will avoid all this trouble.
If you want to slap a bit of ice on as well for 10 or 15 minutes fine but don’t beat yourself up if this is too much trouble as it really does not make any difference.
I also think that cryo chambers are a waste of money in treating any injury. You know the ones where you go in to the freezer at -110 degrees C. I can’t find any decent scientific study to show that they have any influence on healing of sports injuries. Fine if individuals want to waste their money on them but people who give money to sports clubs should be careful that their money is not wasted on these treatments.
Another treatment that you need to think about is the non steroidal anti inflammatory tablet. To some people the goal of all treatment is to stop inflammation. But remember there is no healing without inflammation. A natural process that has evolved over millions of years must be stopped at all costs by the small brown tablets according to some therapists.
So start thinking of inflammation as a good thing and remember that it is necessary for the healing of your injury and surgery. You might want to control it a little but not turn it off altogether.