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118 of 120 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2011
So after 3 knee surgeries and a professional ice therapy machine (Gameready) rental at $250 for 2 weeks for a total of $1600 that my insurance company did not cover I was back to cold packs and ice in zip lock bags... To say the least I missed my ice therapy machine... So I did some research and decided to buy the Soft Ice Active Therapy System. Found it on Amazon for almost $30 less that buying from [...] (the actual makers of the system) and requested the expedited shipping. 5 days later (holiday weekend included).... The machine came... Now since I really couldn't find a description of how it is made, I'll let you in on the construction a bit.

The system is made starting with a 9 quart cooler made by Coleman, your typical off the shelf lunch sized cooler. Inside the cooler there is an intake device that resembles a small pump with a hose the goes out the side of the cooler to a box housing the temperature setting (very basic flow adjuster, slows the flow to supply warmer water speeds it up to supply cooler water). The box also houses the plug for the power supply that resembles a laptop power supply and there is an on and off switch. Coming out of the box is the insulated tubing with an outgoing and return tube inside. The tube is permanently attached to the box and has about a 3 foot insulated tube with quick connect fittings on the end to attach the universal wrap that goes on the knee. The wrap is U shaped to fit nicely around the knee, ankle or shoulder and on one side has a plastic see though channel that water flows through and on the other side there is a fleece like covering to attach velcro elastic wraps to, one is included. The box on the side also has a return tube that runs in the side of the cooler from the box and dumps the return water back into the cooler near the top, above the water line.

It's really a simple system that works very nicely to do a job a more expensive unit does. There are no fancy cycling features, or a back lit LCD screen to tell you how long you are running and the temperature you are at, it's all very basic and manual. FYI I priced a Gameready unit at $2500 and needed a letter from congress to buy one. This unit came delivered under $200 and does the exact same thing and is much quieter in my opinion. Missing is the very nice compression sleeve of the game ready that provided multiple compression settings and pumps air into the unit to proved a nice tight fit.. You don't really need it but it did feel a bit better with the compression.. However comparing renting a machine for $250 for 2 weeks verses buying a machine that I will be able to use in the future after exercising and other injuries, I believe you can't beat this deal.

Options: There are some options and add ons you can get with this machine. A 30 minute timer, an auto emptying option, and auto accessory and battery feature for travel, different style of wrap for your back and such, and then the wraps. I would recommend getting the wrap for the knee (KAW Wrap) as it covers the plastic side of the wrap and fits around the knee quite nicely, keeps you protected from condensation and skin damage form the cold and has 3 velcro elastic points to help provide some compression during the treatment.

Pros: Price, ease of use and simplicity. Effective treatment, and you get to keep it instead of renting it....

Cons: Should come standard with the KAW wrap ($30 more). Would be nice to see a quick connect at the external box since carrying the cooler with the tube flopping around on crutches is pretty difficult. I mean how much more could it cost the company to add that on? A couple of bucks? You need to insulate the basic standard wrap with a towel against the skin (again would have been better to see the KAW wrap included)

In this economy I love finding a deal, and this was a steal at this price. I also love the fact that it's a small company that manufactures it. [...] for more info about the company and other accessories for this product.

I would recommend this product to anyone planning knee surgery, post surgery and those who typically use ice packs to ease their pain after a work out or injury. It's a great deal and you can't go wrong..

Read the instructions and warnings about skin damage from cold therapy, see a Dr before use and do not call a lawyer if you leave it on too long and hurt yourself, that's your fault and your dumb for doing it. Pain is a great indicator that something isn't right. OK hope this helps, I'm off to bask in my cold therapy heaven.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2011
Two coolers failed - one within two weeks of being received and the second right out of the box.
We've had the misfortune of having two of these units fail with the same problem. The first one purchased worked for two weeks then the pump started to make a loud noise, like it was seizing, and water circulation decreased. Customer service at that time (July 2010) was very responsive and sent a new one right away. My wife no longer needed it for her post-knee surgery recovery so we saved the new unit in its box, stored carefully. I had major back surgery last week and was confident in knowing that we had the cooler and I'd have effective post-surgical icing. To my dismay, when the brand new, never used unit was started with water and ice exactly as per directions, it immediately made the same horrible loud pump failing-type noise we had with the first unit after it was run 2 weeks. Now I'm stuck - pain from major back surgery and the choice between using standard ice packs or the Polar unit which is much more effective at cooling but stresses me with an earsplitting noise.

Since Polar Products' customer service had been good last year, I contacted them in the hope that they would once again stand beyond their product even though the 6 mo warranty period had expired on the brand new, never used uint. I was wrong - something changed at Polar Products and Customer Service was not helpful and in fact essentially accused me of not being truthful with them and suggested that I had in fact used or abused their product and that's why it failed. They did offer a repair for $75 plus shipping if I would send it to them and cover shipping or they would sell me a new unit at the full Amazon price. I was really surprised and disappointed that Polar would not stand behind their product and help me out, especially since I was in a bind because of an apparently recurrent defect in their product, that they had not identified. Frustrated, in pain and tired of trying to cancel out the cooler's noise with headphones, I've purchased the pump from a supplier (through Amazon) and had it overnighted so that I could make the repair without having to wait a week or more plus the added cost for shipping and repair by Polar Products.

So , if you don't care about reliability or customer service, this is certainly an effective, reasonably priced unit. BUT, if you don't like really loud constant droning/wining noise or don't want to be stranded without a functiong cooler, then think twice and explore other options. I've heard good things from a friend about a round thermos style cooler (don't know what brand).
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2012
My wife was scheduled for knee surgery and she was given the option of renting or purchasing an ice cold ciculating package. We found the Active Ice cold therapy System through Amazon and ordered expedited shipping. Product came in two days. Followed instructions and it worked great. The next day the ice was still intact and the water cold. The next day the system was re-iced per instruction. When turned on no water flowed into the bladder. The motor was running the impeller was turning but no water. After removing the couplers I found which line was the intake and exhaust by blowing back to the motor. I was the able to siphon water up the line connect the couplers and the unit worked. Polar Products was contacted and they said a new unit would be shipped. The new unit arrived in about 6 days. In the mean time blowing and siphoning became the order of the day to ice the knee. The new unit came without a bladder or power cord. Everything was connected re-iced and failed to pump. A call to Polar informed me that the units are tested and possibly there was a bubble in the line. The siphon worked until I re-iced the unit. This time after trying to clear the line I could not blow or siphon the line. The colder select switch remained in coldest postion at all times. Unfortunately it is a weekend and Polar will be called monday. The peas's are freezing and her knee is getting the proper treatment. Renting the unit sure looks good now.

G. Vorgitch
Oxnard CA
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2013
the first time I bought this product in 2011, it broke 5 days into my rehab. It was working well, swelling was going down and everything was ok til the pump broke. it took 6 weeks to get the unit repaired and returned. You would think , considering the situation - broken knee- that they would just send out a unit immediately. NOPE! Now I had my second surgery and the cuff was broken - cheap material didn't even last 2 years in the box. I ordered a replacement and they charged me $55 for a new cuff and $10 fed ex and its been 7 days and I still don't have it. when I called them, Maureen only tracked the package and said it will be there in a few days ," California will take 4 to 6 days for Fed Ex". really, why charge a premium? why offer fed ex? would help if it said that on the website. these people are in the misery business. I am not ordering shoes or gum, I am in pain and I need this piece of equipment that they have. they do not seem to care that the people on this end are waiting, in pain. and they have paid for their stuff. Why do they not realize this and get their act together. I will NEVER E V E R work with them or buy from the again. I recommend you don't either. try CRYO CUFF.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2011
Like another person who wrote in, I used the expensive GameReady unit as part of therapy following a couple operations. I just got this little ActiveIce machine a couple days ago. The first couple times, I found it very difficult to get it in just the right position to have the water flow. I continue to have this problem. If the pad is tied tightly (as it should be), the water doesn't flow. If the tube isn't at just the right angle, the water doesn't flow. It's very tricky.

But on top of this, now on the 3rd use on this machine, it is making a HORRIBLE noise! It's totally unbearable. I can't think properly as I write this review. Yet the pad is barely cold even though it is wrapped loosely and the tubes are aligned properly!

Hopefully just a bad unit and a replacement will do the trick. If not, plain ice-packs would be far superior...
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Update: I'm on the phone with their customer service dept now. They didn't seem very surprised about the noise complaint. But they do seem interested in trying to rectify the situation...
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Update2: They sent me a replacement. Apparently they switched to a different supplier for their motors relatively recently and have been getting a lot of complaints about the noise. The new one is now sounding like the original one did the first time I used it; reasonable noise level. You can definitely hear the motor humming away. It is noticeable within the room but not something my coworkers would notice from out in the hall. On the 3rd use of the original unit, people down the hall would complain about the noise. We will soon see if this unit goes the same way as the old one after a couple uses...
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Update3: I only used the replacement a couple times after I got it. I just had another hip replacement and decided I'd better dust off this machine and try it again. The motor wasn't terribly loud. I covered the machine with a quilt to muffle it. But within a couple minutes, I noticed the bed was soaked. Apparently the connections had worn out simply by sitting there, unused. Water spilled all over and there was no way to stop it. It looks like this unit is going into the garbage. :-(
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2010
I HAD A KNEE REPLACMENT AND THE SOFT ICE THERAPY SYSTEM WORKED GREAT.
THE ONLY THING I SEE WRONG IS THE ACCESSORIES. THEY ARE COSTLY
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2012
I bought this unit prior to shoulder srugery. First pump failed at about 4 months. Company "rehabbed" my unit, by replacing the pump. Worked fine for a week, then the screeching pump noise started. Cusomter service wouldn't work with me on fixing the second pump. I loved this unit when it worked, but customer service from this compnay is really second rate. Of course, given how fast the pumps failed, customer service is probably dealing with quite a few irate customers.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2011
The product works as described in the ads. It is most suitable for someone that needs cold packs applied three to five times a day or more. The product requires a lot of ice to work properly although one load will last the entire day. The piece that goes next to the affected area is supple and can be shaped to fit comfortably and is more effective than an ice pack. The product is somewhat heavy when filled with ice and water and must be plugged and unplugged when being filled, emptied or moved. The product must be emptied, dried and aired out each night after use. For someone that needs frequent ice therapy the product is very useful.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2013
This delivers continuous cold to a specific body area with out warming or melting or repossessing. It was purchased for a football player that has a meniscus tear and inflammation. The regular ice bags were not doing the trick. Using this after every practice and game for 3 weeks has drastically reduced the pain and allowed him to continue playing. The only negative is if you don't have an ice maker you need use about half a bag of ice for it to work. If you put the ice and water in and let it sit about 10-15 minutes the water circulating through the pad will be much colder from the start.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2015
I write this review while the device is attached to me. The concept is simple. There is a bladder that that has a quick connect to connect it to a hose. The hose in turn, connects to the pump/reservoir unit. You fill the reservoir to the minimum fill line with ice and water, plug in the power, and set the timer. The universal bladder comes with one long elastic strap that is terminated with on both ends with Velcro,. As supplied, the Universal Bladder will fit a number of joints but is ideal for knees. Be sure to place some insulating material between the bladder and the skin. A pillow case folded in half the long way is ideal. The timer has a max setting of 30 minutes. On the plus side, this will protect the skin. On the down side, you will be resetting the timer FREQUENTLY. The Active Ice uses a 120VAC to 12VDC converter to power it. A 12VDC car plug is available and I will make use of it during an up coming car trip.

This Active Ice and similar units are the bosom companions of many joint replacement patients. I am on Post Op Day 7 and there has been ice therapy on me for most of that time. The manufacturer should consider a bypass switch on future models.

Most refrigerator ice machines will not be able to satisfy the appetite of this unit for ice. My wife (being much smarter than me) filled 32oz and 16oz deli containers while I was in the hospital. One 32oz or two 16oz blocks will last about 3 hours. Now you know why you save those containers.

Your doctor will recommend a ice therapy unit to you and they are not covered by most insurance. With joint replacement it's a question of how long you'll want cryotherapy, not if. Your cryotherapy machine will be your best friend following surgery and is easily the equivalent of 5mg of oxycodone. My doc tried to sell me a gravity fed device for about the same money. Basically, it was an Igloo cooler with a hose and bladder. Invest in a motorized unit with a large reservoir. This device fits the bill. With the exception of a lack of a bypass switch this is a welcome addition to my home PT equipment!

Note: while I'm certain this is not recommended by the manufacturer, the switch CAN be bypassed by simply changing one wire. The unit uses wire nuts to make the connections. If you have the least bit of mechanical and electrical knowledge you can bypass the switch in about 5 minutes.
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