The Impact of Complementary and Alternative Treatment Modalities on the Care of Orthopaedic Patients

J Am Acad Orthop Surg October 2011 David T. Rispler, MD and Julie Sara, MD Abstract

The use of complementary and alternative medicine is widespread and popular with the lay public. Although prevalence of use varies among specific patient populations, complementary and alternative medicine, in particular herbal remedies, are widely marketed and used by orthopaedic patients. Herbal supplements can have a negative impact on the perioperative period and may interact with conventional medicines used to manage chronic conditions. Physician-patient communication often does not include the subject of alternative medicines, leading to underreporting of use. Orthopaedic surgeons should adopt methods to routinely elicit from their patients the use of complementary and alternative medicine and should monitor and counsel patients on potential side effects and drug-herb interactions. Preoperative instructions should include cessation of the use of herbal supplements.

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