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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 528452, 7 pages
Research Article

Auricular Acupressure for Managing Postoperative Pain and Knee Motion in Patients with Total Knee Replacement: A Randomized Sham Control Study

1Department of Nursing, Landseed Hospital, Pingjhen City 32449, Taiwan
2Department of Nursing, Hsin Sheng College of Medical Care and Management, Pingjhen City 32462, Taiwan
3Institute of Traditional Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 11221, Taiwan
4Linsen (Chinese Medicine) Branch, Taipei City Hospital, Taipei 10844, Taiwan
5Division of Internal Cardiology, Taichung Armed Forces General Hospital, Taichung 41152, Taiwan
6Basic Medical Science, Centeral Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taichung 40601, Taiwan
7Department of Anesthesiology, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei 11490, Taiwan
8Department of Anesthesiology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei 11217, Taiwan
9College of Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taipei 11214, Taiwan

Received 9 April 2012; Accepted 21 May 2012

Academic Editor: Shu-Ming Wang

Copyright © 2012 Ling-hua Chang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Postoperative pain management remains a significant challenge for all healthcare providers. A randomized controlled trial was conducted to examine the adjuvant effects of auricular acupressure on relieving postoperative pain and improving the passive range of motion in patients with total knee replacement (TKR). Method. Sixty-two patients who had undergone a TKR were randomly assigned to the acupressure group and the sham control group. The intervention was delivered three times a day for 3 days. A visual analog scale (VAS) and the Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire were used to assess pain intensity. Pain medication consumption was recorded, and the knee motion was measured using a goniometer. Results. The patients experienced a moderately severe level of pain postoperatively (VAS 58.66 ± 20.35) while being on the routine PCA. No differences were found in pain scores between the groups at all points. However, analgesic drug usage in the acupressure group patients was significantly lower than in the sham control group ( 𝑃 < 0 . 0 5 ), controlling for BMI, age, and pain score. On the 3rd day after surgery, the passive knee motion in the acupressure group patients was significantly better than in the sham control group patients ( 𝑃 < 0 . 0 5 ), controlling for BMI. Conclusion. The application of auricular acupressure at specific therapeutic points significantly reduces the opioid analgesia requirement and improves the knee motion in patients with TKR.