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Transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS) can facilitate postoperative recovery in elderly patients after knee surgery. Chinese clinicians conducted a randomised trial in which 52 elderly patients who receiving knee surgery under epidural anesthesia were assigned to either an experimental or control group. Patients in the experimental group received TEAS at Zusanli ST-36, Sanyinjiao SP-6, Neiguan P-6 and Quchi L.I.-11, 30 minutes prior to epidural anaesthesia and on postoperative days 1 and 2, while patients in the control group received sham TEAS at the same acupoints using the same schedule. Quality of recovery assessed by questionnaire was significantly lower in the control group at postoperative day 1 compared with the acupuncture group. Biomarkers of stress and inflammation (cortisol, adrenocorticotropic hormone, C-reactive protein and neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio) were all significantly lower in the acupuncture on postoperative days 1, 3 and 7, suggesting that the improved recovery after acupuncture was likely to be mediated by reduction of surgical inflammation and perioperative stress response.

Transcutaneous Electrical Acupoint Stimulation for Improving Postoperative Recovery, Reducing Stress and Inflammatory Responses in Elderly Patient Undergoing Knee Surgery. Am J Chin Med. 2019;47(7):1445-1458