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Complement Ther Med. 2006 Dec;14(4):237-46. Epub 2006 Oct 13.

Homeopathic arnica therapy in patients receiving knee surgery: results of three randomised double-blind trials.

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  • 1Institute of Social Medicine, Epidemiology, and Health Economics, Charité University Medical Center, Berlin, Germany.



We investigated the effectiveness of homeopathic Arnica montana on postoperative swelling and pain after arthroscopy (ART), artificial knee joint implantation (AKJ), and cruciate ligament reconstruction (CLR).


Three randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, sequential clinical trials.


Single primary care unit specialised in arthroscopic knee surgery.


Patients suffering from a knee disease that necessitated arthroscopic surgery.


Prior to surgery, patients were given 1 x 5 globules of the homeopathic dilution 30x (a homeopathic dilution of 1:10(30)) of arnica or placebo. Following surgery, 3 x 5 globules were administered daily.


The primary outcome parameter was difference in knee circumference, defined as the ratio of circumference on day 1 (ART) or day 2 (CLR and AKJ) after surgery to baseline circumference.


A total of 227 patients were enrolled in the ART (33% female, mean age 43.2 years;), 35 in the AKJ (71% female, 67.0 years), and 57 in the CLR trial (26% female; 33.4 years). The percentage of change in knee circumference was similar between the treatment groups for ART (group difference Delta=-0.25%, 95% CI: -0.85 to 0.41, p=0.204) and AKJ (Delta=-1.68%, -4.24 to 0.77, p=0.184) and showed homeopathic arnica to have a beneficial effect compared to placebo in CLR (Delta=-1.80%, -3.30 to -0.30, p=0.019).


In all three trials, patients receiving homeopathic arnica showed a trend towards less postoperative swelling compared to patients receiving placebo. However, a significant difference in favour of homeopathic arnica was only found in the CLR trial.

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