14:32 PM

Acupuncture in TKA? New Study from HSS. Outcome? “Remarkable!”

Orthopedics This Week reports on HSS study findings in electro-auricular acupuncture used intraoperatively in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) published in Medical Acupuncture  and includes insight from the first study author Stephanie Cheng, MD, anesthesiologist, and senior author Michael P. Ast, MD, hip and knee surgeon.

According to Dr. Cheng, “Ultimately emanating from Chinese medicine and French energetic medicine, electro-auricular acupuncture, works from the concept that the outer portion of the ear is a microsystem that reflects the health of the entire body. While a number of practitioners are using electro-auricular acupuncture, to my knowledge we are the first group to use it intraoperatively and publish in English on this topic.”

She continued, “Our findings were that patients who had the electro-auricular acupuncture had a significantly better chance of maintaining a low-dose opioid regimen compared to those who did not receive the treatment.  Also, at the 30-day postop mark, all patients had stopped the opioids and 65% of those patients were able to maintain a low-dose opioid regimen—a substantial improvement from the historical baseline of 9%.”

From a surgeon’s perspective, Dr. Ast explained, “Since we instituted acupuncture during surgery, I have been amazed with some of our results. Immediately after surgery, many patients look more lively and energetic in the recovery room, seem to have less nausea and our data supports that they have less pain. At their first post-op visit, it’s remarkable how many patients tell me this was the best anesthesia experience they have ever had. Over the last two years or so, we have seen an influx of new patients specifically seeking out our team because they would like acupuncture incorporated into their surgical experience.”

Dr. Cheng noted, “As part of our Regional Anesthesia Fellowship Program, the fellows are allowed to participate in the integrative medicine tract and get their certification in acupuncture. I currently have two anesthesiologist fellows completing their certification, as well as learning electro-auricular acupuncture alongside me. In addition, we are doing randomized controlled trials and retrospective studies on this treatment. This is only going to grow in popularity.”

Read the full article at Ryortho.com.