Acupuncture treatments can effectively treat knee pain for a fraction of the cost of Total Knee Replacement(TKR).

While TKR surgery is successful in terms of low revision rates, nearly a quarter of patients experience knee pain within several years or are otherwise dissatisfied with the results. The surgery is also expensive, averaging approximately $8,100 per patient. Experts recommend conservative options before opting for surgery.

A 2012 British study monitored 90 patients who had knee osteoarthritis and were considered candidates for TKR surgery. These patients underwent acupuncture in 2008 in lieu of knee replacement surgery, and within two years at least one-third of these patients had achieved long-term symptom relief using acupuncture. These patients chose not to go through with the surgery.

“The evidence published on acupuncture in patients with knee osteoarthritis shows that it is safe and effective in reducing pain and improving function, thus qualifying it as an appropriate conservative treatment for this condition.”

According to the study, acupuncture saved approximately $162,000 each year during the treatment sample.