Abstract Title:

Use of Arnica to relieve pain after carpal-tunnel release surgery.

Abstract Source:

Altern Ther Health Med. 2002 Mar-Apr;8(2):66-8. PMID: 11892685

Abstract Author(s):

S L A Jeffrey, H J C R Belcher

Article Affiliation:

Department of Plastic Surgery of Queen Victoria Hospital in West Sussex, England.


CONTEXT: Arnica is commonly used by the public as a treatment for bruising and swelling.

OBJECTIVE: To assess whether Arnica administration affects recovery from hand surgery.

DESIGN: Double-blind, randomized comparison of Arnica administration versus placebo.

SETTING: Specialist hand surgery unit at the Queen Victoria NHS Trust.

PARTICIPANTS: Thirty-seven patients undergoing bilateral endoscopic carpal-tunnel release between June 1998 and January 2000.

INTERVENTION: Homeopathic Arnica tablets and herbal Arnica ointment compared to placebos.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Grip strength, wrist circumference, and perceived pain measured 1 and 2 weeks after surgery.

RESULTS: No difference in grip strength or wrist circumference was found between the 2 groups. However, there was a significant reduction in pain experienced after 2 weeks in the Arnica-treated group (P<.03).

CONCLUSIONS: The role of homeopathic and herbal agents for recovery after surgery merits further investigation.

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