Intraoperative Electro-Auricular Acupuncture May Reduce Pain After TKA


October 14, 2021

1 minute read

Source / Disclosures


Cheng S, et al. A2078 paper. Presented at: The Annual Meeting of Anesthesiology. October 8-12, 2021; San Diego (hybrid reunion).

Disclosures: Cheng does not report any relevant financial disclosure.

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The use of intraoperative electroauricular acupuncture may reduce postoperative pain in patients undergoing total knee replacement surgery, according to results presented at the annual anesthesiology meeting.

Stephanie Cheng, MD, DABMA, and colleagues provided 41 patients undergoing primary TKA with a standardized intraoperative multimodal opioid sparing protocol and electroauricular acupuncture.

“We were looking at the number of patients who were able to maintain a low-dose opioid regimen, which we defined as 112.5 oral morphine equivalents,” said Cheng, lead author of the study and anesthesiologist at the Hospital. special surgery, at Healio Orthopedics. . “In comparison, [that is] 15 oxycodone tablets, which is usually what people are prescribed next for pain control, 15 tablets of 5 mg.

Stephanie Cheng

Stephanie Cheng

Cheng noted that additional results included pain scores, adverse events, and previous experience with acupuncture. The researchers allowed the patients to be given 5 mg to 10 mg of oxycodone orally for additional pain control and the patients were discharged with daily oral meloxicam, acetaminophen and a prescription of 42 tablets of 5 mg oxycodone without renewal.

Cheng noted that 65% of patients maintained a low-dose opioid regimen, compared to 9% of patients in historical data. The results showed that all patients had stopped their opioid treatment by postoperative day 30, with three patients remaining opioid-free for the 30 days.

“Orthopedic surgery is moving more towards an outpatient surgery model, and the ability to control pain and besides, things like nausea and dizziness can help get discharged early and speed up patients. [post-anesthesia care unit] PACU the same day of surgery, ”said Cheng. “Incorporating acupuncture and other complementary medicine protocols into the surgical experience could have such a positive impact on patient recovery and our study particularly indicates that this is possible. Obviously, more research is needed in this area, but I think we have an encouraging start. “


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