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Acupuncture More Cost Effective in Treating Knee Osteoarthritis

Aug 22, 2012 07:25 AM EDT

One of the common types of osteoarthritis is knee osteoarthritis that is found in nearly 10 million Americans. It is rated as the common cause of disability among the citizens of the United States. A new research focuses on this major ailment can be treated with the help of acupuncture.

The study that is featured online in Acupuncture in Medicine claims that, 'acupuncture causes a great relive from knee osteoarthritis and it also is a cost effective procedure when compared to the expensive surgeries.

The study is based on 90 patients who were patients of knee osteoarthritis. The patients were referred for group acupuncture to two knee pain clinics in St Albans, Hertfordshire in 2008 and were monitored for continuously for two years.

The clinics were set up in 2008 for NHS patients, and run in two GP practices by specially trained acupuncture nurses, to see whether this could improve care, while reducing costs.

According to the authors, "This type of surgery works well, and provides value for money. But it is not suitable for everyone, and as many as one in seven patients experience severe pain a few years after the procedure."
The researchers noticed that out of 114 patients 90 percent of the patients accepted treatment in 2008. The symptoms reported by them were constant pain, including at night and difficulty to walk.

In which 29 patients didn't want to undertake the surgery and four were ready for operation as a last resort and fifty patients said, they were ready for surgery. Hey continued receiving acupuncture once a week for a month and the frequency gradually reduced.

They still had nearly 41 patients visiting the clinics after a year, and 31 receiving treatment after two years. Each patient received an average of 16.5 treatments.

The improvements were assessed by a validated system (MYMOP) at six months intervals. They calculated that nearly two third of the patients had taken up acupuncture and they calculate that this health service can save a huge bucks for the patients.

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