The analgesic effect of acupuncture in chronic gonarthrosis pain was studied in a placebocontrolled trial completed by 97 patients. Each patient was treated twice a week, receiving 10 acupuncture treatments in all. Before and after tee course of treatment all patients were examined by an unbiased independent examiner and the overall pain score was measured over 10 days using VAS scales; functional parameters (resilience) were measured with a modified Lysholm questionnaire. Patients in the verum group (n=71) were treated according to generally accepted acupuncture treatment recommendations. Patients in the placebo group (n=26) were treated with sham acupuncture at non-acupuncture points on the homolateral leg. A follow-up examination was carried out after 3 months. After ten treatments the overall reduction in pain score was 47.5% in the verum group (follow-up 48.2%), and 26.1% in the placebo group (follow-up 26.1%). The results are statistically significant (P<0.05); they show that in gonarthrosis pain the analgesic effect of verum acupuncture exceeds that of placebo acupuncture. Measurement of the functional parameters according to the Lysholm score showed no significant change.