Absolutely. Acupuncture can be useful pre- and post-operatively with a joint replacement.
Preoperatively. Acupuncture can help with pain management. And as you strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint, acupuncture can help these muscles respond. (Remember, you heal better when you perform the pre-op exercises given to you by the doctor.)
Starting Acupuncture. I recommend getting acupuncture treatments started as soon as you can after surgery, even with bandages in place. It helps with incisional pain and wound healing by getting good circulation to the area. As an added bonus, acupuncture strengthens your immune system so you have a decreased chance of infection. Acupuncture treatments also help your liver to efficiently process the anesthesia out of your system.
Immobility. Because you are less mobile after surgery and because you may be taking narcotic pain medication or NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory/pain reliever), acupuncture can also keep your GI Tract functioning optimally. One side effect of narcotic pain medicine is the slowing down of bowel elimination.
Acupuncture + Physical Therapy. Acupuncture enhances your physical therapy sessions. It can make things go smoother, with better flexibility and improved movement in your new joint and the muscles surrounding it. You can also manage your pain much easier. Acupuncture treatments help because they enhance circulation to the tissue which promotes better healing.
Schedule Treatments Beforehand. Give me a call as soon as you can when planning your joint replacement surgery. If you have had your surgery, call me as soon as you can to help optimize your recovery and get on with living an active lifestyle! I look forward to hearing from you!