Research, Case Studies & Testimonials

knee replacement alternative

Published On: Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Category: Pain Clinic

'British researchers have found that acupuncture offers an acceptable, low-cost alternative to knee replacement for sufferers of osteoarthritis (OA)'.

British researchers have found that acupuncture offers an acceptable, low-cost alternative to knee replacement for sufferers of osteoarthritis (OA). Of 114 patients offered acupuncture for knee OA, 90 accepted and were referred to two knee pain clinics for group acupuncture, where they were followed up for two years. All patients (average age 71) had severe symptoms, including constant pain and inability to walk long distances, and were eligible for knee replacement surgery. The multibed clinics were run in two GP practices by nurses trained in acupuncture. Patients were givenacupuncture once a week for a month, after which frequency was reduced to one session every six weeks. After one year, 41 patients were still attending, and after two years, 31 were still receiving treatment. Each patient received an average of 16.5 treatments. Subjective symptom scores (measured by MYMOP), showed clinically significant improvements in pain (4.2 to 2.9), stiffness (4.1 to 2.9), and functional capacity (4.5 to 3.3), after one month of treatment and these improvements persisted over the two-year follow-up period. Analysis of the cost consequences of introducing acupuncture suggested that it could save each local GP commissioning group an estimated £100,000 per year. Rates of total knee replacements were found to be lower (by 10%), in the commissioning group using acupuncture compared with neighbouring groups. A related qualitative study of patients' experiences at the clinics found the acceptability of the multibed setting to be very high.

 

Group acupuncture for knee pain: evaluation of a cost-saving initiative in the health service. Acupunct Med. 2012 Aug 20;30:170-175. 'All in the same boat': a qualitative study of patients' attitudes and experiences in group acupuncture clinics. Acupunct Med. 2012 Aug 20;30:163-169.

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