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Pain Med. 2015 Jun;16(6):1195-203. doi: 10.1111/pme.12685. Epub 2015 Jan 13.

Acupuncture provides short-term pain relief for patients in a total joint replacement program.

Author information

1
Division of Health Policy and Management, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
2
Integrative Health Research Center, Penny George Institute for Health and Healing, Allina Health, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
3
Penny George Institute for Health and Healing, Allina Health, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
4
Medical Industry Leadership Institute, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
5
Twin Cities Orthopedics, Edina, Minnesota.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Given the risks of opioid medications, nonpharmacological strategies should be considered for total joint replacement patients. We investigated acupuncture as an adjunct therapy for postsurgical pain management in a total joint replacement program by examining which total hip and knee replacement patients elected to receive acupuncture and the effect of acupuncture on short-term pain.

DESIGN:

A total joint replacement program using fast-track physiotherapy offered elective postsurgical acupuncture to all patients, at no additional cost, as an adjunct therapy to opioids for pain management.

SETTING:

The Joint Replacement Center at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, a 630-bed teaching and specialty hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota from 2010 to 2012.

SUBJECTS:

Our sample included 2,500 admissions of total hip (THR) and total knee replacement (TKR) patients.

METHODS:

Self-reported pain was assessed before and after acupuncture using a 0-10 scale and categorized as none/mild (0-4) and moderate/severe pain (5-10).

RESULTS:

Seventy-five percent of admissions included acupuncture. Women (Odds Ratio: 1.48, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.22, 1.81) had higher odds of receiving acupuncture compared to men, and nonwhite patients (Odds Ratio: 0.55, 95% CI: 0.39, 0.78) had lower odds of receiving acupuncture compared to white patients. Average short-term pain reduction was 1.91 points (95% CI: 1.83, 1.99), a 45% reduction from the mean prepain score. Forty-one percent of patients reported moderate/severe pain prior to receiving acupuncture, while only 15% indicated moderate/severe pain after acupuncture.

CONCLUSIONS:

Acupuncture may be a viable adjunct to pharmacological approaches for pain management after THR or TKR.

KEYWORDS:

Acupuncture; Integrative Medicine; Multimodal Pain Management; Postoperative Pain; Total Joint Replacement

PMID:
25586769
PMCID:
PMC4478153
DOI:
10.1111/pme.12685
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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