Objective: Assessment of the outcomes on the articular and periarticular pain of the knee, by a reflexotherapy with local anesthetics, denominated also neuraltherapy.
Experimental design: Retrospective observational study with 3 years' follow-up.
Environment: An Ambulatory Center for Pain Management.
Patients: All the patients (N = 115) with knee pain treated with neuraltherapy in the period 1982-31 August 1996 (retired patients 2, mean age 68 +/- 15.2 years in the remaining).
Interventions: The employed reflexotherapy, denominated also neuraltherapy by Huneke, uses a local anesthetic (prevalently lidocaine) in 0.5-1% concentration and small quantity (0.5-1 ml for point) on tender/trigger and/or acupuncture points, as well as in anatomical structures like articulations, nerves, arteries or veins. The number of sessions has been of 7.03 +/- 3.3.
Outcome measures: Outcomes are evaluated in terms of percentage subjective improvement of the pain at the end of the therapy and at 1-3-6 months, 1-2-3 years, and then divided in 5 groups (no improvement-fair-good-very good-excellent).
Results: At the end of the therapy the improven cases were the 91.2%, the 83.7% at 1 month, the 64.6% at 3 months, the 41.3% at 6 months, the 22.5% at 1 year, the 12.1% at 2 years and the 7.9% at 3 years.
Conclusions: These outcomes suggest a good effectiveness of this treatment in the painful diseases of the knee, but further randomised double-blind trials are necessary.