New research concludes that acupuncture reduces pain and inflammation after knee replacement surgery. The research also finds that acupuncture improves range of motion following knee replacement surgery. Further, physical measurements of the swelling around the knee were significantly lower in the acupuncture group than in the control group.
Acupuncture for the Knee
Acupuncture was applied to patients with total knee arthroplasty starting at day 7 following knee replacement surgery. Acupuncture was administered three times per week until day 21 when the treatment regime was discontinued. Range of motion improved, swelling measurably decreased and pain levels were significantly lower in the acupuncture study group than in the group that did not receive acupuncture therapy. As a result of these findings, the researchers conclude that acupuncture is effective in the post-acute phase of knee rehabilitation following total knee replacement surgery.
This study builds on earlier findings that acupuncture benefits the knee. In other recent research, investigators discovered that acupuncture reduces knee pain and increases range of motion for patients with osteoarthritis. An interesting study, it compared sham acupuncture with modern acupuncture and classical acupuncture techniques. The sham acupuncture, a form of simulated placebo acupuncture, did not significantly improve the knee condition. However, both modern and classical approaches to acupuncture were highly effective in reducing pain and improving range of motion. The modern acupuncture style involved the application of points known to benefit the knees and the classical acupuncture style derived custom acupuncture prescriptions based on a differential diagnosis. The modern acupuncture style was over 60% effective and the classical acupuncture was over 70% effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee. The researchers concluded that the efficaciousness of acupuncture is “method-specific.”
Mikashima, Y., et al. “Efficacy of acupuncture during post-acute phase of rehabilitation after total knee arthroplasty.” Journal of traditional Chinese medicine= Chung i tsa chih ying wen pan/sponsored by All-China Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine 32.4 (2012): 545.
Max Karner, Frank Brazkiewicz, Andrew Remppis, et al., “Objectifying Specific and Nonspecific Effects of Acupuncture: A Double-Blinded Randomised Trial in Osteoarthritis of the Knee,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2013, Article ID 427265, 7 pages, 2013.