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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2018, Article ID 5871657, 7 pages
Research Article

Effectiveness and Safety of Acupotomy for Lumbar Disc Herniation: A Randomized, Assessor-Blinded, Controlled Pilot Study

1Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Medicine, Daejeon University Dunsan Korean Medicine Hospital, Daejeon 35235, Republic of Korea
2Department of Acupuncture & Moxibustion Medicine, College of Korean Medicine, Daejeon University, 62 Daehak-ro, Dong-gu, Daejeon 34520, Republic of Korea
3Clinical Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon 34054, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Chang-Hyun Han; and Young-Il Kim; rk.ujd@10mikdmo

Received 6 May 2018; Accepted 15 July 2018; Published 6 August 2018

Academic Editor: Karen J. Sherman

Copyright © 2018 So Yun Kim 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.


Objective. Patients with lumbar disc herniation (LDH) suffer from pain, physical disabilities, and low quality of life. This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of acupotomy in patients with LDH. Method. Fifty participants with LDH were recruited to this randomized, assessor-blinded, controlled study and randomly assigned to the acupotomy (n = 25) or manual acupuncture (n = 25) group. The acupotomy group received acupotomy four times in 2 weeks, while the manual acupuncture group received manual acupuncture six times in 2 weeks. The follow-up visit was planned in the 4th week (i.e., 2 weeks after the final intervention). The primary outcome was the change in the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) at follow-up. The changes in the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Modified-Modified Schober Test (MMST), and EuroQol Five Dimensions (EQ-5D) questionnaire were also evaluated. An intention-to-treat analysis was applied and adverse events were recorded. Results. The acupotomy group showed significant changes in VAS, ODI, and EQ-5D after intervention. VAS and ODI in the 4th week were lower in the acupotomy than in the manual acupuncture group. The acupotomy group showed consistent changes in VAS and ODI in the 1st, 2nd, and 4th week. No serious adverse event was reported in the acupotomy group. Conclusion. This study suggests greater therapeutic effects of acupotomy on relieving pain and improving the functional disability associated with LDH than those observed with manual acupuncture.