The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Auricular acupuncture reduces pain after surgery, but does it matter?

    This is the first study of this form of acupuncture in patients having surgery in an outpatient setting.

    • 120 patients had arthroscopic knee surgery under standardized general anesthesia.
    • They were randomly assigned to receive auricular acupuncture or a control procedure.
    • Acupuncture needles were inserted before surgery and retained in place until the following morning.

    And the results

    • Patients who received auricular acupuncture required significantly less ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for pain relief compared to patients who got the invasive needle control procedure.
    • The median amount of ibuprofen required in the acupuncture group was 200 mg — half of a 400 mg tablet of Motrin.
    • The other group required 600 mg of ibuprofen after surgery.

    The bottom line?

    Sometimes there’s a difference between what’s statistically significant and what’s important to the patient.

    Whether the difference in ibuprofen use reported in this study would be really important to a patient is debatable. Maybe more painful operations should be studied.

    1/19/07 19:22 JR

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