Research: USICHENKO and co-workers,

Listed in Issue 116


USICHENKO and co-workers, Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Ernst Moritz Arndt University of Greifswald, Friedrich Loeffler Str. 23b, 17487 Greifswald, Germany,, have conducted a study of ear acupuncture for pain relief after surgery.


The aim of the study was to quantify the effectiveness of auricular acupuncture for postoperative pain.


In this randomized, placebo-controlled, single-blinded study, patients who were scheduled for total hip arthroplasty either received true auricular acupuncture on 4 points (29 patients) or sham treatment on 4 non-acupuncture points (25 patients). Needles were left in situ for 3 days after surgery. Patients had an opioid pump for pain control. Time to first request for analgesia, the amount of opioid used, and pain on a VAS, were the outcome measures.


Analgesic requirements were lower in the acupuncture group than in the placebo group (37 mg vs. 54 mg; p = 0.004). Pain intensities were not significantly different in the two groups (which is to be expected when pain is controlled by analgesic).


Auricular acupuncture can be used to reduce postoperative analgesic requirement.


Usichenko TI, Dinse M, Hermsen M, Witstruck T, Pavlovic D Lehmann Ch. Auricular acupuncture for pain relief after total hip arthroplasty – a randomized controlled study. Pain 114 (3): 320-

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